3rd-grader's faith, grit land Bible in school library - legally

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
 | 
Becky Yeh - California correspondent (OneNewsNow.com)

A legal group dedicated to preserving religious liberty is celebrating that officials in a California school district have agreed to allow a student to donate a Bible to the school library.

After receiving a detailed written explanation of the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause, officials with the Temecula Valley Unified School District have agreed to allow Victoria, a third-grader, to donate a Bible to her school's "Birthday Book Program." When she was in first grade, Victoria brought a Bible to donate on her birthday and was initially told that her book was rejected. But publicity surrounding a recent religious freedom case caught the attention of Victoria's father, who contacted Advocates for Faith & Freedom in nearby Murrieta.

Robert Tyler of Advocates for Faith & Freedom spoke with OneNewsNow about the rejection of Victoria's Bible.

"This is just another situation where you have a lot of well-intentioned school teachers and administrators who simply do not understand the contours of the First Amendment and the Constitution," says Tyler. "And they certainly have a misunderstanding, in many cases, of the separation of church and state.

Tyler

"The truth is that the First Amendment protects religious liberty within the public school system," he concludes.

As the legal group states: "Victoria had the right to give the school the Bible under the book donation program, the school had the right to receive it, and students now have the right to go to the library and read it."

For the Birthday Book Program, students are invited to choose their favorite book and place their name on the inside cover. Then the school officially recognizes the student at a Friday Flag Salute Assembly.

After Advocates sent the school the detailed letter, the principal apologized and Victoria was officially recognized at the next school assembly.

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