Tuesday, 19 May 2009


FRISCO — There is a book battle of sorts taking place in Frisco schools. This isn't about a textbook — it's about the "Good Book."
The district permits free Bibles to be put out for students; but there's a fine line between nonschool literature that's "put out" and "given out."
Debbie Lutz has two children in Frisco schools. "How is that allowed?" she asked. "It makes me very mad."
Gideon volunteers have visited both her children's campuses with Bibles in tow. It's part of the Frisco ISD's rotating schedule that permits the religious group in some schools for one day.
"That is unbelievable," Lutz said. "No one has ever sent a letter home from the school district telling me that."
District policy says nonschool literature is allowed as long as it doesn't "attack ethnic, religious, or racial groups." It also can't "interfere with school activities or the rights of others."
"I just think religion should be out of schools," Lutz said.
Another Frisco mom, Nicki Wilks, has a son who attends Griffin Middle School. "He said, 'Oh yeah, mom, somebody was handing out Bibles at school today, and some of the kids started getting upset, and the parents started showing up.'"
Wilks tries to read the Bible daily, and is stunned at the outcry of negativity. "It's not like it is in the curriculum," Wilks said. "It's not like we're making them take Bible classes."

But Wilks says offering — not pushing — the Bible should be fair game. "I believe in freedom of religion, but I think there are people from the other religions who would like to completely stifle the Christian side of it," she said.
The Gideons once handed out their Bibles along a public sidewalk in Frisco, but after too many parent complaints to the police department and the school, the district decided to move things inside. School officials said it's the only way to control the situation.
"We cannot pick and choose which materials are allowed to be left at a designated location for display/pickup based upon the viewpoint expressed in the materials," a Frisco ISD spokeswoman said in a statement.
The district admits that it has had to remind representatives of the Gideons to not approach children; that's the only way the volunteers are allowed in schools.
Either way, Lutz says it puts her kids in a tough spot. "Not maybe 'forced,' but maybe [they] they feel a sense of obligation to pick it up? Just so they're not uncomfortable," she said.
Wilk disagrees. "This should be made available if our children want it."
And at least at some Frisco public schools, Bibles are made available for students.