Parents Angry Altruria Elementary Bible Club Was Shut Down After Complaint By Atheist Group

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Controversy over a Bartlett bible club. Some first and second graders were taking part in the club at Altruria Elementary each morning before classes. But the atheist organization Freedom From Religion Foundation sent Bartlett City Schools a letter that the club was unconstitutional. BCS closed down the bible club. And now parents are angry.

In response, the Brown family contacted an attorney with the Center for Religious Expression. They are outraged that the club was shut down because their two children were looking forward to participating in the bible club next year. They don't believe it's unconstitutional, since the club is elective and held before school.

"The message they are sending these kids is there is something terribly wrong with you wanting to meet and discuss the bible,” says Nate Kellum, an attorney for the Center for Religious Expression.

The group Freedom From Religion Foundation sent us a statement that says:

“FFRF is pleased to learn that Bartlett City Schools has taken appropriate action to disband an unconstitutional religious club, which was really just religious instruction by public school officials. This development is a victory not only for reason and the law but for the inviolable right of a captive audience of first and second-grade students to be free from indoctrination in a public school setting.”

Kellum says the group is wrong. He says students have the right to meet because the bible club is not a club that the school is requiring or endorsing.

"Whether it's the cub scouts. Whether it's the chess club, or whether it's a bible club, they should be able to do it,” says Kellum.

Bartlett City Schools sent us this statement:

 

“Per our understanding, religious clubs at elementary schools must be sponsored by an outside group. To our knowledge, the K-2 Bible Club at Altruria was not. While this club has been postponed, we are working with the school to ensure the proper steps are taken to allow this club in the 2017-2018 school year.”

 


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