No more Bibles for Abbotsford public school kids
Bibles were distributed last year after consent forms were sent home with students
Public elementary school children in Abbotsford, B.C. will no longer be offered free bibles.
"Our public schools should be secular and safe places for students where they don't have to feel schools are pushing a certain view on them," said B.C. Humanist Association executive director Ian Bushfield.
Last year 112 Bibles were distributed in Abbotsford public schools after the school district sent home a consent form offering them to all Grade 5 students.
In March, the BCHA sent a letter to the district calling for the practice to stop. The district said it would review its policies.
"After having reviewed the procedures related to the distribution of materials to students, the district will no longer distribute the Gideon Bible or other religious materials to students," wrote the district in reply to the BCHA's letter.
Bushfield said the Abbotsford school district is the last in the province to put an end to handing out religious materials.
He said it shows parents and students they are welcome in Abbotsford, regardless of religion.
But Bushfield warned the BCHA will continue to monitor the school district.
"We're going to keep our eye out because we hear, every once and a while, little stories of schools that maybe do their graduation in a church, or something that might make students feel uncomfortable, and we want to be aware of that," he said.
Last month an Abbotsford mother spoke out when both her son and daughter came home from elementary school with a brochure for a Christian basketball program — Athletes in Action — that "encourages players to discover a relationship with Jesus Christ," according to its website.
The Abbotsford School District said it is not commenting on the issue.
With files from Anita Bathe