Parents Say Son, 12, Told To ‘Put Away Bible’ During Free Reading Time At School

Amy Schaeffer - Author
By

Jan. 6 2015, Updated 1:22 p.m. ET

The parents of twelve year old Loyal Grandstaff feel his fundamental rights have been compromised when he was told to put his Bible away during public school, just prior to Christmas break. He told his parents he loves reading his bible, and decided to take it out during a free read while at his Missouri middle school. But as soon as he brought out the book, his teacher told him it wasn’t allowed. Loyal explained he brought out the Bible because it was a free time to read.

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“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.”

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His parents say he was not reading the Bible aloud or to his classmates, nor doing anything to cause unnecessary attention to himself.

Bueker Middle School in Marshall, Missouri, has no rule stating bibles are not banned from school. Lance Tobin, the principal at the middle school, confirmed that fact, then said he would need to investigate the situation further before he was able to make an official comment on what had happened with Loyal and his Bible.

Loyal’s parents say they simply are trying to raise their son to honor God, and cannot understand why he would not be allowed to read his Bible during a free time to read. Justin Grandstaff, Loyal’s dad, expressed his thought that there are much worse things that his son could be doing.

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“There are kids walking around disrespecting their teachers, kids walking around cussing and everything else and they’re practically getting in no trouble at all.”

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The family has made an appointment to speak to the principal and discuss the situation. They are so outraged that they took the situation to the media before speaking to the school, because they feel their son’s religious freedom was jeopardized. Justin Grandstaff spoke about his concern regarding his son’s constitutional rights freely.

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“I feel like it is violating not only his freedom of religion, but also his freedom of speech.”

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Loyal’s dad says he’s trying to raise his children to honor God, work hard, and do the right things, and is outraged that his son was not allowed to read his own Bible during a free reading time.

Loyal says the Bible makes him feel encouraged, and that he will never stop reading it. He spoke on his perception of why the teacher asked him to put it away.

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“He doesn’t want me reading it in his class because he don’t believe it, because he feels like he’s shutdown.”

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What do you think, readers? Is the family acting appropriately, or should they have discussed the issue with the school before taking it to the media?

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