NC School Cuts Bible Verses from Day Planners Donated by Local Church
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After receiving a donation of 600 daily planners from a local church, a North Carolina middle school noticed two Bible verses printed on the planners' back page. The school laboriously cut out the verses from each of the 600 books before handing them out to students.
WBTV reports the planners were donated by the Sulphur Springs Baptist Church. The church printed their logo, a short message, and two Bible verses on the back of the planners as an inspiration to students.
"We wish you a successful and blessed school year!" the message beside the church logo reads. It was followed by two verses.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future," -
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," -.
All told, the church spent more than $2,000 to help provide resources for the school and the students, according to WSOC-TV.
In a Twitter post, WSOC's Dave Faherty showed how the back page of each of the planners was cut to remove the verses.
Alexander County- a local church donates 600 planners to students at East Alexander Middle. Before passing them out, the school cut out two Bible verses on the back. The story tonight on eyewitness news at 5pm pic.twitter.com/zXz4Kcv4nN— Dave Faherty (@FahertyWSOC9) September 2, 2020
"We just put them back there for encouragement. We know the school year ended rough last year. We know coming back with split days," the church's Assistant Pastor James Safrit told the station.
School officials said the addition of the Bible verses made it impossible for the schools to give them to students, according to their interpretation of the US Constitution.
The district said even though they appreciated the church's support, the school's principal thought including the verses of scripture would violate students' rights.
"It is an individual student's right to share their beliefs - religious or otherwise, but not the public school's role to indoctrinate them with any religious teachings," Alexander County Schools said in a statement to WSOC.
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The district said the principal was unaware that verses would be printed on the planners when talking to church leaders a few months ago.
One parent told the station his feelings were hurt when he found out the school had removed the verses from his daughter's planner.
"That hurt my feelings, it really did. This society right now, I think we need God in our lives and Jesus in our lives and this tears my heart apart," Roger Hayes said. "Why couldn't it be my decision or my child's decision to take it off."
One Sulpher Springs church member told WBTV that "hearing the news that the verses were cut out is disappointing."
But Brian Walker said it won't stop his congregation from helping the school district.
"This has not deterred us one bit," Walker said.
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