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AU opposes Bible distribution at Missouri school.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is urging a federal appeals court to stop a Missouri public school district from allowing Bible distribution at elementary schools.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, American United argues that the South Iron R-1 School District in Annapolis, Mo., violated church-state separation by permitting members of the Gideons International to distribute Bibles to fifth-grade students.

After a legal challenge was filed against the school district over the Bible distribution, members of the school board voted on a new policy that allows material to be disseminated by private groups on school grounds in certain cases.

Americans United's brief in Doe v. South Iron R-I School District argues that the new policy was a transparent effort to permit distribution of religious material.

"The law is crystal clear: Public schools are not supposed to be in the Bible-distribution business," said Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn in a press statement. "Handing out Bibles is a job for churches, not public schools."
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Title Annotation:AROUND THE STATES; Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Publication:Church & State
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U4MO
Date:Feb 1, 2007
Previous Article:How to keep the 'United' in United States: coping with religions diversity in the world's first 'new' nation.
Next Article:Religious groups oppose N.J. coach's prayer policy.

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