Whether it’s the seven-year-old boy whose school sent a police officer to his home after he distributed Bible verses during free time, or the eighth-grader prohibited from making references to God during his middle-school graduation speech, public school students are getting the message loud and clear: Your biblical beliefs are offensive and any expression of them should be banned.
So it’s no surprise that students like Lettie A.—a 13-year-old who attends a public school in Virginia—would assume she’s safer by staying silent about her faith. And for a long time, she did.
But then something happened that radically changed her perspective—a family member told her about Bring Your Bible to School Day.
Sponsored annually for students by Focus on the Family, the event empowers youth to take their Bibles to school as a visual way to share God’s hope with friends and celebrate their right to free speech. Last year, an estimated 356,000 students participated; this year half a million are expected to join the movement on Oct. 5.
At BringYourBible.org, Lettie found resources explaining in detail what students’ religious-freedom rights are. “I never really thought I could do that kind of stuff,” she says. “I was like, ‘Wow, I could talk to people about Jesus. I could bring my Bible to school. This is awesome.’ ”
Lettie soon discovered other classmates were just as excited. “Some of us didn’t wait until that day,” she says. “We brought our Bibles every day when we learned about it. One girl forgot to bring hers so she checked one out of the library.”
On the day of the event, “almost half the class probably brought their Bibles.”
And it didn’t stop there. “We started praying at the lunch tables” and posting encouraging Bible verses or faith-based messages on lockers.
“I think schools would be different if kids brought their Bibles,” Lettie says, “because when you bring Jesus in, it makes the whole place seem happy and bright instead of being kind of gloomy and dark.”
After the event, the students started an after-school Bible club called “Christ’s Crew.” After one of the club’s discussions, a student asked Lettie for more information about how to follow Jesus and “accepted Christ right then.”
“It was kind of a cool feeling that I was there to see that,” she says.
What You Can Do
Bring Your Bible to School Day is Oct. 5! Let the students in your life know about it. Sign up by the event date at BringYourBible.org.
This will let you do two things:
- Access free participation guides, including versions for elementary-age students, teens and pastors and parents; and
- Be automatically entered for a chance to win a free trip for four to meet the Newsboys and attend one of their concerts. Last year, the band was featured in the movie “God’s Not Dead 2,” which addresses living out the Christian faith on campus.
“Students’ freedom to express their faith at school is an issue that’s really close to our hearts,” says lead singer Michael Tait.
Originally published in the October 2017 issue of Citizen magazine.