State school district ends Bible talks following complaints

HUDSONVILLE (AP) — A western Michigan school district has ended a teacher’s faith-based discussions with elementary school students following complaints by a civil rights group.

Hudsonville Public Schools’ assistant superintendent Scott Smith said the district didn’t know a fifth-grade teacher had been meeting with students for lunchtime Bible studies until the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists contacted the district on Nov. 6.

Smith says officials met with the Alward Elementary School teacher the same day and ended his talks. Smith tells the teacher “thought it was okay because it was occurring during a non-instructional time.”

A Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists spokesman said public school officials and teachers “should know that they are prohibited from engaging in any activity with students that involves religious beliefs, rituals, or doctrines.”