MARSHALL, Mo. — The parents of a middle school student are upset because they say a teacher told their 12-year-old son he couldn’t read his favorite book in school, his Bible. The parents say their son’s fundamental rights were violated.
Loyal Grandstaff’s parents say they’re taking a “grand stance” to stand up for their son’s freedom of religion after they say a teacher told their son he couldn’t read his Bible in school.
Loyal says he loves reading his Bible and decided to bring it to school before the Christmas break so he could read it during his free time. But the seventh grader said his teacher told him it wasn’t allowed.
“I like to read my Bible because it’s a good book,” Loyal said.
He said he wasn’t reading out loud and said he wasn’t sharing the Bible with his classmates.
“I was just reading, just reading because I had free time. A time to do what I wanted to, so I just broke it out and read,” he explained.
“I feel like it violated his freedom of religion but also his freedom of speech,” Loyal’s dad, Justin Grandstaff, said.
Justin says he’s trying to raise his children to honor God, work hard and do the right things, and he says he can’t believe his son was banned from reading the Bible.
“There’s kids walking around disrespecting their teachers, kids walking around cussing and everything else and they’re practically getting into no trouble at all,” Justin said.
Lance Tobin, the principal at Bueker Middle School in Marshall, says Bibles are not banned from school, but says he needs to look into the situation to get the details before he elaborates further.
“He doesn’t want me reading it in his class because he don’t believe it, because he feels like he’s shutdown,” Loyal said.
Loyal says the Bible makes him feel encouraged and he’ll never stop reading it. Justin says he hasn’t been able to talk to the teacher in question or the principal because of the Christmas break, but he plans to talk to them when school reopens on Tuesday.