School District to Again Allow Student Attendance of Off-Site Voluntary Bible Class After Review of Complaint

FREMONT, Mich. — A school district in Michigan plans to again allow students to leave school during lunchtime for off-site voluntary religious instruction after reviewing the details of the matter following a complaint.

“We temporarily canceled the program while we reviewed parts of the program,” Fremont Public Schools Superintendent Ken Haggart told MLive. “We believe that we were doing nothing wrong.”

As previously reported, the Fremont Wesleyan Church has been offering the Bible Release Time program for Daisy Brook Elementary School students, a 45-minute class that is optional and only for those whose parents have signed a written permission form.

The program, led by John Perkins, is held once a month during the lunch period, and the church transports students to and from the study. An estimated 100 children attend.

“Bible Release Time is a program permitted by Michigan law, whereby children are released from school classes during school hours to attend religious instruction at a nearby location,” read a flyer sent home to parents with the permission slip.

However, the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists (MACRA) recently contacted the district to assert that the school’s role in offering the program to students unlawfully promotes Christianity and thus violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

“Without the school’s direct assistance, Pastor Perkins would not have access to recruit students. Handing out Pastor Perkins’ form from the school office is a violation,” the group explained on social media. “[T]he school is involved in facilitating the Bible classes by announcing the class and herding the kids to the exits and bus—this is also a violation.”

  • Connect with Christian News

“Third, the superintendent and principal both refer to the ‘Bible Release Time’ as ‘our program,’ which is another violation. No public school is allowed to have any program that involves religion. Period,” it said.

Following receipt of the complaint, the district sent a letter to parents outlining that as per the advice of attorneys, students would no longer be permitted to attend the lunchtime Bible class. Haggart told reporters that he hoped to restore the arrangement and that the severance would not be permanent.

Attorneys for Perkins then sent a letter to Haggart, stating that it was a mistake to end student attendance and urged immediate reinstatement.

“[O]ver fifty years ago, the United State Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of religious released time classes just like these that Bible Release Time conducts,” attorney Timothy Denney wrote, citing the 1952 case of Zorach v. Clauson, which said that to disallow such arrangements for religious students would wrongfully prefer “those who believe in no religion over those who believe.”

Following a review and a decision to continue the offering in the fall, Haggart told MLive that the district will change how the flyers are distributed going forward, and will ensure that their wording—as created by Perkins—is without issue. The report did not specify exactly what would be done differently in regard to distribution.

“We’re excited to bring the program back,” Haggart said. “It’s a great program for many of our kids who live in Fremont.”

Become a Christian News Network Supporter...

Dear Reader, has been of benefit and a blessing to you? For many years now, the Lord has seen fit to use this small news outlet as a strong influential resource in keeping Christians informed on current events from a Biblical worldview. Despite Facebook's recent algorithm changes, which has limited our readership, and, as a result, has affected operational revenue, we continue to strive to bring you the news without compromise and to keep Christ in focus. If you have benefited from our news coverage, would you please prayerfully consider becoming a Christian News supporter by clicking here to make a one-time or monthly donation to help keep the truth widely and freely published and distributed? May Christ continue to be exalted through this work!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • InTheChurch

    This is great for the kids, they get their spiritual needs met.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    US children need Biblical instructions more than anything else in the world. Why does the Western culture prohibit Christianity after 2,000 years of getting all the incomparable supernatural benefits from it? What went wrong with America, the children of the Bible-believing Christian Europeans? Communist nations even bounced back to Christianity after giving up the brutal forced atheim. Westerners always and forever need the Holy Bible for morality, or they will use their strength to sodomize mankind and establish the transgender mental illness on the already-grieving and starving planet.

    The Western Sodom may push pedophilia at this rate, who knows? Rule of the law is a toxic junk in Sodom, apart from the laws of God. The Westen culture must not be allowed to nullify God’s truth and bend people’s conscience because it is the worst form of slavery. People need the Holy Bible for the truth and human rights and freedom. Secular culture only ruins children with immorality, addiction, suicide, and meaninglessness. Humans are not born to live like animals. People need the Holy Bible for salvation and the truth and morality and to live like a human without barbarism or demon-worships.

    Jesus is the Saviour of the world.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking,
    correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be
    thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Mankind do not know yet the full capacity of the wrongs which the Christ-less UK and USA can do to mankind. May the Lord frangment the Western Sodom for the sake of all innocent children. May the Britons and Americans take heed and come back to God and do not repeat Nazi Germany and Soviet Union – slavery by the installation of godless falsehood.

    A generation indoctrinated with hate hurts foreigners and foreign elements, but the generation indoctrinated with immorality hurts their own parents and their own children as seen on today. It’s been spiral repetitions, but the unbelieving Westerners must stop thinking they are smarter than the Holy Bible. Why do the secularists preach when all they have is disloyalty and immorality? How much more abuses and griefs are enough? Mankind need the Holy Bible to value life and the truth and the goodness – exactly what all children need.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    “How can a young man cleanse his way?
    By taking heed according to Your word.
    With my whole heart I have sought You;
    Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
    Your word I have hidden in my heart,
    That I might not sin against You.
    Blessed are You, O Lord!
    Teach me Your statutes.
    With my lips I have declared
    All the judgments of Your mouth.
    I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
    As much as in all riches.
    I will meditate on Your precepts,
    And contemplate Your ways.
    I will delight myself in Your statutes;
    I will not forget Your word.”
    (Psalm 119:9-16)

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    The Holy Bible – always and for-ever the only way not to be enslaved by the Western pervs or other villains on earth. Pagans hate the Holy Bible because they are ignorant and the Western Sodomites hate the Holy Bible because the it is God’s truth.

    • Dianne



  • Michael C

    Good. Parents have the right to pull their children out of school for religious purposes.

    [T]he district will change how the flyers are distributed going forward

    The school would be wise to avoid distributing any flyers. The church that organizes this religious event should be in charge of disseminating their own flyers. The school needn’t advertise outside, non-school-related religious events.

    • Grace Kim Kwon

      Public schools constantly advertise atheism and immorality. Secularism is one great immoral injustice.

      • Nick Bush

        So are you saying everyone should be Christian? That would only make sense if Christianity were proven to be true beyond a reasonable doubt, which it isn’t.

        • Grace Kim Kwon

          Christianity alone is evidential faith and it alone keeps mankind civilized. Belief is one’s own choice, but the world needs the dominion by the Judeo-Christian values, or the Non-West keeps heinous barbarisms and the West forces mentally ill decadence upon mankind. Westerners need Christianity because you have no other morality. The Muslims will cure of Westerners of nudism because you haven’t listen to the gentle Christians. Mankind indeed need each other.

          • Nick Bush

            How has Christianity been proven to be true, outside of the Bible?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            The entire West proved it. Post-christian West is such a destructive Sodom. Therefore, Christianity alone is true and right. You guys need Christianity for the truth, morality, and intelligence. It’s horrible for mankind to be oppressed by the Western Sodom for refusal to help out its abnormal immorality. Give mankind some break.

          • Nick Bush

            I didn’t ask how it was proven to be helpful to civilization, I asked how it was proven to be demonstrably true. As in, how have the basic tenets of Christianity been proven to be true?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            It’s the most realistic, practical proof. Christian Americans are moral. Ex-christian USA is tyrannically immoral. Read the Holy Bible for yourself.

          • Nick Bush

            So you’re saying that you have no proof that God is real or that the Bible is real.

            The only way that a truly Christian society would function is if everyone not only believed in the tenets of Christianity, but followed them to a T. Obviously human nature makes that impossible, but fair enough, Jesus didn’t die because we had no sin, he died for our sins, per the tenets of Christianity.

            What you are suggesting though is basically the Christian version of the Islamic State. Obviously it wouldn’t be as brutal as ISIS have shown to be, but how would such a state enforce its national religion? Eventually nonbelievers would become second class citizens, and this nation would become much like one of the many theocracies in the Middle East. You can’t force morality on people, and not everyone has the same morals as you. A better way to go about things is the Golden Rule – do unto others, and all. No religion is needed for that.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Americans became hopelessly immoral after they blasphemed against God. It’s a strong proof that God exists as He said He does in His Word. Christians do not force Christian beliefs, but the nations need the dominion of the Judeo-Christian values for protection from barbarism and for safety and morality.

            You say the things you say because you grew up in a godless culture. Christians are the only fair species among mankind to treat everyone equally and bring life-rescuing benefits to everyone because that is what is commanded by God. Non-christians bring unfairness and the rules by evil.

            Pgans bring barbarisma and oppressions upon women and children and non-members, and Western secularists corrupt children systematically by prohibiting morality. The West forces mankind to establish Sodomy’s reign and such evil slavery must be countered by all normal people.

            What Western culture is doing now is submission to Sodomy. A racist slavery. Read John 8. Freedom was established in the Western Civilization to live out God’s truth, not to submit to the nudist pervs. You guys need Christianity for sanity and morality.

          • Nick Bush

            So by your definition “moral” = “Christian”. Your logic is circular. The US was more barbaric to women and children in the past when it was supposedly more Christian – women weren’t allowed to vote, have bank accounts, work, etc., and child labor laws weren’t originally around. As for racism, there was slavery and Jim Crow laws. All this during a more “Christian” time. You’re just throwing buzzwords around to try to scare Christians into wanting things to be the way they were before.

  • TheLastHonestLawyer

    The school got it right. The program is off-site, no public funds pay for it, and the church provides transport. The distribution of flyers is still a sticky point, but there are ways to get information out without relying on the school.

    See? This is what happens when you listen to your lawyers and work to find a solution inside the law.

  • Dianne

    Excellent victory for the children of God. Praise ye the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!!!?????