Last week we received a claim from the Independence Law Center (ILC) that the Bible was banned from Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School. We have investigated the allegations from ILC and will provide a response directly to the organization. The letter and press release from the ILC are inaccurate. There is not a ban on the Bible, Torah or the Koran or any other religious material at Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School. Students are always permitted to bring, read, share and discuss the Bible at school. We welcome and encourage students with all backgrounds and religious views to express themselves.
There are rules any student or group must follow when they wish to formally distribute any material to other students during the instructional day, inclusive of lunch. These rules are established to respect the rights of all students, create a sense of belonging in the school, and ensure there are not disruptions to the school day.
The ILC press release is misleading. The student group never submitted a formal request for distribution of Bibles, and the ILC never contacted the building administration to discuss the issue. Instead of submitting a request and working with the high school administration in a collaborative manner, the ILC’s approach has evoked negative emotions that divide our school and community. We would gladly engage in a conversation that instead takes the time to consider what is best and inclusive for all students and respects the wishes of many parents in our school community. It is our sincere hope to resolve this issue with facts.