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Mom Not Allowed to Read Bible in School

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

Outside of Philadelphia, Donna Busch walked her son Wesley into his Kindergarten class at Culbertson Elementary to do what every parent did during "Me Week," read her child's favorite book to the class. However, the book her child chose caused more attention than she expected.

"She was going to read four passages from the bible, and the teacher saw it was the bible and said I don't know if we can do that or not we better call the principal. The principal came in and took Mrs. Busch outside of the classroom and told her it's against the law," said John Whitehead, the President of the Rutherford Institute.

As of May 3, Busch and John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute in Charlottesville filed suit against the Marple Newtown School District, claiming the school imposed on her religious freedom.

"We've asked for the court to call this unconstitutional. It's private speech and she should be treated fairly like every other parent," said Whitehead.

But is it considered unconstitutional? A law professor from UVa said the Supreme Court has ruled differently in every case, and there is a fine line between church and state.

"I don't recall any case identical to this one. There are some that could be described as similar but nothing that’s actually identical. That's another factor, the main factor that makes this one hard to predict," said Robert O'Neil, the director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.

The school district released a statement stating, “the suit is baseless, and nothing more than for Rutherford to make headlines," but they will vigorously defend the lawsuit anyway. They also argue the classroom is no place for religion.


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