A public school district has given written assurance that a third-grade student is permitted to read his Bible in his classroom.
Elementary School District 159, located outside of Chicago, sent the written assurance after receiving a letter from the Thomas More Law Center. School officials had previously denied the third-grade student, Rhajheem Haymon, this right.
The law center, which is a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, wrote the letter on behalf of the Haymon family.
Rhajheem’s father, Leslie Haymon, contacted the law center after being informed that school officials had denied his son the right to read his Bible during “reading time,” a time during the day when students may read a book of their choosing.
The demand letter, written by lawyer Edward L. White III, informed school officials that the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Department of Education have assured that students are free to express their religious views while at school. This freedom includes a student’s choice to read religious materials.
White explained that a public school may not suppress or exclude the speech or expression of individual students for the sole reason that the speech is religious or contains a religious perspective.