By Jim Daly, Crosswalk.com
Mackenzie Fraiser’s PowerPoint assignment for her sixth grade class was called “All About Me.”
But it turned out her Las Vegas-area public charter school didn’t really want Mackenzie to share about herself. Because when the sixth grader, the daughter of a pastor, included a slide with one of her favorite Bible verses… her teacher told her to remove it.
Mackenzie was told she wasn’t allowed to use “biblical sayings” in assignments. That left the young girl feeling like she wasn’t supposed to talk about her faith at school.
Sadly, Mackenzie isn’t the only student who has been told they have to censor themselves at school. There’s also the case of the 7-year-old California boy who was doing something so subversive in school that officials called the sheriff to stop him… from sharing Bible verses during non-class time.
Pretty unbelievable, isn’t it?
Back when I was at school, teachers stopped kids from saying bad words, not Bible verses. Last I checked, “Jesus” wasn’t a four-letter word – and students’ First Amendment rights didn’t stop at the schoolhouse door.
Yet some teachers and school officials mistakenly believe that they are obligated to shut down any mention of faith in the classroom. That leaves many Christian students – kids from kindergarten to college – feeling shunned and silenced.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Focus is sponsoring its third annual “Bring Your Bible to School Day” on Thursday, Oct. 6. This nationwide free-speech event for students is designed to remind students of their First Amendment rights – and to empower them to exercise those rights.
We’re not just talking about a small handful of kids participating, either. Last year about 155,000 students from all 50 states took a stand for their faith by celebrating their religious freedom and sharing God’s hope with their friends.
And we have every reason to believe this year’s will be even bigger – in fact, we’re expecting more than 300,000 students to participate in the 2016 “Bring Your Bible to School Day.”
Can you imagine the impact of all those students showing they’re not ashamed of the Gospel? Or the awareness those kids will raise of students’ legal right to bring their Bible to school and to read it during their free time?
I hope you’ll help us spread the word with the students in your life – your children, grandchildren or church youth group – about this opportunity to share their faith in an affirming, positive and loving way.
They can sign up to participate online, where they will also receive access to age-appropriate participation guides, including elementary, teen and pastor/parent versions.
Not only that, but this year’s participants will be entered for a chance to win a free trip for four to see the Christian band Newsboys in concert in Dallas—and meet the band in person!
So please visit and share our website, BringYourBible.org, use our “Tell a Friend” graphics on your social media pages, and use the hashtag #BringYourBible. But most of all – please pray for this year’s event and for the tens of thousands of young people who will be participating.
I’d like to hear from you: how does your school treat Christianity? Do you know a student who has participated in “Bring Your Bible to School Day”? If so, how was the experience for them? Let me know in the comment section, below.
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Publication date: September 16, 2016