GARDNER, Kan. — The Gardner Edgerton School Board is reviewing the Holy Bible after a student in the district made a formal request.
But that formal request seems to be satirical in nature. Monday night, she made a point in front of the school board.
“Some things shouldn’t have a place in the school,” Elizabeth Fielder said.
“It doesn’t meet the standards to be removed,” parent Courtney Dunning said.
Two students went in front of the Gardner Edgerton School Board on Monday asking to have the Holy Bible pulled from the school libraries across the district.
“One book I agree we should ban and that’s the Holy Bible,” senior Elayna Moss said.
She filled out a form last week, requesting the review. She said the Holy Bible is inappropriate.
Moss believes if other books are being banned, this book should also be taken off shelves.
“No one should get to get to cherry pick based on their own ideologies of which books belong in schools,” Fiedler said.
“I have never nor will I ever believe that books with only a couple things that are slightly inappropriate should be challenged, the Bible belongs in schools as well as all of these other books.”
Dunning said any person submitting a review is required to read the book cover to cover.
Dunning believes there are several problems with pulling the Bible.
“I don’t think the Bible should be banned,” Dunning said. “It’s a religious freedom for one, and two, it provides a lot of insight into life lessons that I think kids need now of days.”
Board Member Greg Chapman said he will not be voting to have it removed.
In a statement to FOX4 he said: “Because of my extensive personal research on the 52 books that compile the Holy Bible, the fact that it is accurate scientifically, historically, provides hope and help for anyone who seeks from it, and is the inerrant word of the Creator God, I will not be voting to have it removed.”
Chapman went on to say:
“There have been many books this year that have been reviewed and upheld by the USD231BOE. These books had some tough material to read, but had even more redeeming qualities that helped make the reader see things through a different lens and helped the reader with a potential area they were struggling with.
“If these books were deemed necessary to remain (which I fully support) then the Holy Bible even more so, has helped countless readers since the beginning of recorded history. As such, it falls into the criteria we have used for all the other books, and should, in my opinion, stay available for anyone to read.”
Fiedler also told the board Monday there are bigger problems inside the schools. She believes controversy surrounding banning books is adding to the teacher shortage.
“We have students walking the hallways at high school and in bathrooms doing drug in our bathrooms,” Fiedler said. “We have admin more threatened about a book being challenged that matches their own ideologies than about books actively being removed from our libraries.”
Dunning agrees there is a drug issue at the schools and said she’s concerned. She plans to home school her two kids next year.
The superintendent did show his support and encouraged his current staff and teachers.
A recommendation on the Bible staying or being removed from schools will be sent to the board in the fall. The district said it’s “committed to following the process that has been established.”
The district issued the following statement Wednesday in response to Fiedler’s claims about drugs at school:
“There has been some misinformation shared related to drugs and drug use at our high school. While it is true of any high school – in any given school year – that a very small number of students may make a poor choice by bringing controlled substances onto campus.
“One step we take to protect against this threat is by working collaboratively with our local law enforcement (Gardner Police Department and Johnson County Sherriff’s Office). Over the course of the past three months, these agencies have randomly – and unannounced – brought drug dogs onto the campus and found NO contraband.
“We will continue to be proactive in providing our students with education related to substance abuse, but these visits and lack of evidence is encouraging.”
The district also addressed Fiedler’s about book bans adding to the teacher shortage:
“As with any school district, employees choose to leave for a multitude of reasons. Of the employees leaving us at the end of the current school year, none (that I am aware of) have shared that books have been the cause.”