Bible as Garbage

June 14, 2000

Does the Bible deserve to be tossed in the garbage can? At least one teacher thinks so. And her actions along with other actions taken at a Texas school are the cause of a First Amendment lawsuit.

The suit was filed in Houston's federal court by Mathew Staver, President of Liberty Counsel. It accuses Sara Flottman, a teacher from Lynn Lucas Middle School of violating Amber and Angela Harbison's rights to free speech and "belittling religious literature in their presence."

"The teacher inspected their books and found they had a Bible. She took them to the office, called their mom . . . and threatened to call child protective services" if their mother did not arrive at the school within a set period of time. After the mother arrived, Flottman then "took the Bible and waved it at her and threw it in the trash bin. She said it was garbage, and you can't have it on school grounds."

In a separate and apparently unrelated incident at the school, three students were not allowed to carry books that had Ten Commandments book covers. In this case, the students were confronted by school officials who stated that the Ten Commandments is hate speech which might offend other students. The school officials removed the book covers and threw them in the trash.

Mat Staver says, "Students have a constitutional right to bring religious literature to school and read this literature on their free time. Students also have the guaranteed right to utilize a religious book cover and should be free to do so without fear of reprisal."

I agree. It's a sad day in public education when the Bible is tossed in the garbage and the Ten Commandments is compared to Nazi-like hate speech. Let's hope this is merely an isolated incident.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.