Students do not check their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door, he said. “If students are permitted to pass out Valentine or birthday cards at school or to talk about Superman and Captain America at lunch, they cannot be prohibited from sharing Bible verses and discussing their faith during their free, non-instructional time,” Mihet told me.
A public school in California ordered a 7-year-old boy to stop handing out Bible verses during lunch – and they dispatched a deputy sheriff to the child’s home to enforce the directive.
“This is a clear, gross violation of the rights of a child,” said Horatio Mihet, a Liberty Counsel attorney representing the first-grader who attends Desert Rose Elementary School in Palmdale. They are also representing his parents, Christina and Jaime Zavala.
Here’s the back story:
Mrs. Zavala made it a practice of including a Bible verse and encouraging note in her son’s lunch bag. The boy would tell his friends about the note and read them aloud at the lunch table.
It wasn’t long before children asked for copies of the notes and Mrs. Zavala obliged – including a brief note to explain the daily Bible verse.
On April 18 a teacher called Mrs. Zavala and said her son would no longer be able to share the Bible verses because he was “not allowed to share such things while at school.”
Liberty Counsel said the school would only allow the child to distribute the Bible verses outside the school gate – after the bell rang.
They say the teacher told Mrs. Zavala that her son “could no longer read or share Bible verses or stories at lunch” – citing “separation of church and state.”
So, Mr. and Mrs. Zavala complied with the school’s clearly unconstitutional edict.
But on May 9, the school’s principal decided to implement a complete ban on the Bible verse sharing.
Liberty Counsel alleges the boy was ordered to stop handing out notes because “it was against school policy.” The principal told the boy and his father to move to a public sidewalk. They complied with the principal’s demand.
It would be just a few hours later – when the Zavala family heard a knock at their front door.