Accepting religion in public schools


Photo provided by Betty Huang

Some students may be reluctant to bring their Bibles to a public school because of the possible backlash they may receive.

Betty Huang, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Although public schools, such as Highland High School, are not normally connected to religion, students always have the right to express their beliefs and faith.

HHS participated in its first Bring Your Bible to School Day on October 4th. This day encourages students to bring their Bibles to school and discuss it with their friends.

Bring Your Bible to School Day is a nationwide event and has taken place for four years, according Fearless advisor Anita Gavranic.

Because we are in a public school, religious affiliations may be seen as controversial.

“(Students) are, by law, allowed to (discuss the Bible and religious beliefs), as long as it’s not done in class, where they’re disrupting class time when the teacher is trying to teach,” said Gavranic. “During lunch time, study hall, or during free time in class, if a student is reading the Bible and a student next to them who notices it and maybe asks them a question, they’re free to answer that.”

Although this is legal, students may still face backlash from peers or teachers.

“It doesn’t happen that often. We’ve had a few occasions where (students) have to defend their faith and what they believe in, but they’re always encouraged to do it with love, not in a defensive way, because the whole idea is to show the love of Jesus and what’s in the Bible to others,” said Gavranic.

Despite pink flyers hung in the commons, many students did not hear about the event.

“I did not participate in Bring Your Bible to School Day because I did not hear about it,” said senior Katy Bedka.

Senior Jenna Turpin agreed. “I didn’t (participate), not because I don’t support it but I wasn’t sure what day (it was planned on) or any details about it. I will participate in college,  as long as I know the details about it.”

Some teens believe religion should not be something to be ashamed of.

Junior Riley Mengel said, “I think that Bring Your Bible to School Day is pretty cool. It’s nice to feel secure in your beliefs. I talk about my beliefs with my peers if they ask, but I don’t advertise my beliefs.”

Fearless member senior Karli Byrd said, “It is a great idea because it gives Christians (and other religious believers) a chance to show others their love of Jesus.”

“It would be a cool idea if there (could be) a time to meet with other kids who participated and talk about it,” said Bedka. “I am willing to talk about my religious beliefs because it is a big part of who I am as a person.”

Advertised events at our school sports, theater, and more. Having a day that represents faith and smaller groups in our school is a great way to get all students involved.

“I thought Bring Your Bible to School Day was an excellent idea. I was excited when I heard about it, and I encouraged the kids in our Fearless group to bring their Bibles,” said Gavranic. “My faith, for me, is personally very important and I would never force it onto another person, but I would share what Jesus means in my life and what I learned in the Bible.”