Religious Freedom
4:30 am
Mon April 7, 2014

After-School Program Agrees To Train Employees After Bible Incident

Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

  The ACLU says administrators at a public after-school program in Middle Tennessee have agreed to train their staff on constitutional issues after one student was told he couldn’t read the Bible during free reading time.

Last week, ACLU officials sent a letter to the directors of Cannon County’s REACH program after the mother of one student says a staff member attempted to take her son’s Bible from him.  Lisa Koefgen says staffers told her son he had to relinquish his Bible or the program would lose its funding.

The letter from the ACLU suggested the incident was the result of a “misunderstanding of the religious liberty protections in the U.S. Constitution, the Tennessee Constitution and federal laws.”

“We are pleased that the REACH program has trained their staff on their obligation under the law to safeguard their students’ religious liberties without imposing religion on them,” said ACLU-Tennessee Legal Director Thomas Castelli in a statement.  “We will continue monitoring the program to ensure that students’ religious freedom is protected.”