The event first started in 2014 by Focus on the Family, a socially conservative Colorado-based group, aims at bringing students and their peers together to share their Christian faith.
Today, more than half a million students in the United States are expected to take part in this year's "Bring your Bible to school." The event first started in 2014 by Focus on the Family, a socially conservative Colorado-based group, aims at bringing students and their peers together to share their Christian faith. On September 19, the group from Colorado Springs released a statement estimating more than 500,000 students across the country to take part in this faith-based activity. "The annual student-led event, now in its sixth year, provides a unique opportunity for young people to share about their faith by highlighting its source — the Bible," revealed Focus on the Family.
"Throughout the day, children and teens will share their experiences via social media using the hashtag #BringYourBible," added the group. Apart from the usual, the group will be allotting student participants "monthly challenges," involving "specific, tangible actions they can take to live out their faith at school and in the community throughout the year." And through this challenge, they will strive to "put into practice the “Live It” portion of the event’s 'Bring It. Share It. Live It.' motto." Focus on the Family will also be partnering up with Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom to offer free of charge legal representation to students "if their rights are violated at school."
NFL Saints quarterback Drew Brees is one of the event's celebrity promoters who partnered with the group this year and shot a video to encourage students to attend this year's observance. In the clip titled 'Shout Out From Drew Brees', he was heard explaining his favorite verse from the bible. "One of my favorite verses in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 5:7. ‘For we live by faith and not by sight.’ So I want to encourage you to live out your faith on Bring Your Bible to School Day and share God’s love with friends. You’re not alone," he said.
Despite this support, one question remains, 'Is it legal for students to bring their Bibles to public schools?' Thanks to a debate conducted by Fox News, we have the answers. Special counsel for litigation and communications for First Liberty Institute, Jeremy Dys said, "Well, of course, it is. Students are not only allowed to bring their Bible to school. They're certainly allowed to read it during free time, in between classes, and even reference the Bible within their assignments and class discussions." Even the lawyer on the opposing side of this debate, Elizabeth Cavel, an associate counsel for Freedom From Religion Foundation FFRF agreed to this.
"The constitutional boundaries are simple," said Cavel adding, "Students, of course, have the right to bring their Bible to school on this or any other day." However, she did add a warning. "Public school teachers and administrators may not promote or encourage students to participate in religious events on this or any other day. [Dys says that] about the only thing that students can't do is monopolize the classroom time with reading the Bible" -- but just because bringing a Bible is legal doesn't mean school administrators are aware."
"Neither students nor teachers should be afraid of the Bible within public schools," said Dys. "At the very least, it's a book of literature and history, and it's the best-selling book of all-time." Voicing his concern, Dys added, "My concern is that there is such misinformation about the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state that students voluntarily absent themselves from the process ... so when they're told they can't do something like that, they think it's illegal." Encouraging kids all across the country to participate in this event fearlessly, Dys continued, "I think it tells you what school kids are up against if a Super Bowl-winning quarterback gets excoriated for encouraging kids to bring their Bible to school. Like Drew Brees, these kids have nothing to fear. They should not be ashamed of their faith or of bringing their Bible to school just because an angry mob doesn't like the book."