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Parents Concerned After Bibles Distributed At Central Idaho Campus

Garrett Coakley

Some parents and community members in the Magic Valley are concerned about an international Christian group distributing Bibles at a public school.

Earlier this month, the Gideons – the same organization that puts Bibles in hotel rooms – gave out Bibles at Filer Intermediate School.

The Superintendent of the Filer district, John Graham, tells the Times News an announcement was made over the school PA system alerting students to the distribution. He says the event was voluntary for students to participate in. The Gideons have come to Filer schools in the past – they usually stop in the community every two years.

Following the distribution event which took place in mid-November, Graham says he heard about parents and others expressing concern on social media. The Bibles were distributed on the school campus in the cafeteria. The superintendent says having the event off campus would present a safety hazard since students would have to cross a busy street to get there.

According to Graham, the Gideons won’t be allowed to disseminate religious materials on campus in the future. Whether or not Bibles can be distributed at schools is a fraught legal issue. The Idaho State Code says no religious doctrines will be taught in schools nor used or introduced in schools. However, the code does not address spreading religious materials after-hours on K-12 campuses in Idaho.

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