A “church vs. state” controversy is brewing over a flier sent home with Madison school students.
Hundreds of fliers for out of school events are stuffed in to students back-packs every day. But one that went home with two-thousand elementary kids in Madison was too much for Annie Laurie Gaylor at the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
This one, from a local church, said “Plant the seeds of faith in Jesus in your child at our Sunday School” and “Don't neglect the 3 R's: Religion, Relationships and rejoicing”. This, Gaylor says, is inappropriate for a public school.
But Superintendent Art Rainwater says he sees no reason to change the policy. There are strict guidelines for handing out private group fliers. They can't promote anything that's illegal. And they must be what he calls appropriate. For example, they wouldn't distribute anything that involved alcohol. They also don't distribute material that recruits students to leave the district.
Rainwater says there is information in the handouts that some parents find useful but they can't discriminate against religion. They can't decide to hold something back simply because it's religious.
Parents can opt out by choosing not to receive any hand out information at all.