Public school students were promoting a Bring Your Bible to School Day event.
A Christian family living in Huntington Beach, CA has filed a federal lawsuit on January 7 in the Santa Ana U.S. District Court against Huntington Beach City School District after their sons were told they could not distribute fliers which encourage other students to bring their Bibles to school.
The Peterson Elementary School principal told Holly Bausch, the mother of Nieko and Micah, their children cannot distribute any religious literature during school instructional hours. The fliers were promoting the nationwide “Bring Your Bible to School Day,” an annual event organized by Focus on the Family. As per the Focus on the Family website, children carry their Bibles to school during October to share the hope spread by God and celebrate freedom of religion. The site describes this activity as a “simple, yet powerful one.” The school district has stated it’s simply following policy.
The federal lawsuit was filed by Freedom X, a known Los Angeles headquartered conservative Christian group. As per the legal brief, the two children were “unconstitutionally prohibited” from promoting Bring Your Bible to School Day. This day falls on October’s first Thursday and encourages the students to share their Christian faith. The Christian group is confident about the legality of their case. Bill Becker, the chief counsel and president of Freedom X, asserted that Principal Constance Polhemus and Huntington Beach City School District are going to lose the case. He said all students have a First Amendment right when it comes to the expression of their religious beliefs and to hand out religious flyers, sans fear.
If it’s a public school, they shouldn’t be promoting ‘Bring your Bible to school day.’
— CrazyBill (@The5thBeatle82) January 18, 2019
Gregg Haulk, the District Superintendent, has another take on the issue. Haulk told FOX News the version spread by Freedom X is not accurate, and they were disappointed and surprised by the lawsuit. He contended that the content was not the issue. He pointed out the brothers were “given every freedom of any individual to pass out flyers” before school begins and after school starts, but not during the instruction time. The boys’ mother, Holly Bausch, said her sons could not distribute during those times due to them having daycare. She argued it was alright for her children to distribute during the recess and lunch periods as no educational activities take place during those times.