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ACLU Defends Student’s Right To Read Bible At School

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File photo of a bible. (credit: Eli Meir Kaplan/Getty Images)

File photo of a bible. (credit: Eli Meir Kaplan/Getty Images)

WOODBURY, Tenn. (CBS Charlotte) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is coming to the defense of a student who wants to read the Bible at school.

Staff at the Cannon County REACH after-school program told an elementary school-aged boy that he could read any book except the Bible and told him that he would have to put the Bible away during a free-reading period, WSMV reported.

The ACLU sent a letter to the after-school program explaining the boy’s First Amendment rights.

“The goal of our letter is to clarify for the REACH program what seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of how the Constitution protects religious liberty,” Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, told WSMV.

Staff tried to take the boy’s Bible from him, but when he refused to put it away, they said that the state could close the program down if they allowed him to read it, the ACLU claimed.

“The First Amendment exists to protect religious freedom,” Thomas H. Castelli, legal director of the ACLU of Tennessee, told WSMV.

“ACLU Tennessee has a long-standing commitment to uphold and defend Tennesseans’ ability to practice religion, or not, as they choose,” Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, also explained.

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