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Grove residents urge school officials to rethink policy on Gideons International's Scriptures

In Grove, a crowd of about 100 people showed their support for allowing the Gideons International organization to give out New Testaments to fifth-grade students.
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL Modified: October 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm •  Published: October 11, 2012

“There were people that wanted us to lose our jobs for allowing the Gideons to pass out Bibles last year,” Superintendent Sandy Coaly said Wednesday.

“We were told if we allowed them to be passed out, the school would be sued,” Coaly said. “If it was me personally, we would have them (Bibles) in our backpack and read them 30 minutes a day.”

Ken Black of Gideons International said, “We are working with the school to work out a compromise not to break any laws.”

“I have a child in Jay Middle School, and I see nothing wrong with the Gideon's offering Bibles on campus,” resident Leanna Buske said.

Buske said it would be OK for other religions to offer reading materials. Students are free to take the material or not, she said.

“I am for anything that puts morals and character back into our schools,” Buske said.

Amie Harrison of Miami, OK, who has two school-age children, approved of the Scriptures that were given to her children in previous years.

“As a parent, it is my responsibility to teach my children what I hope they will believe and follow,” she said. “So when someone hands them something, they will have the ability to decide if they want to accept it or not.”