PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Members of the Pike County Board of Education met Tuesday for their regular monthly meeting, but before they could turn their attention to items on the agenda, an impassioned group of people demanded to be heard.
The group was there to voice opposition to a rumored ban on Bibles on school grounds.
Concerned citizens stepped forward in turn to defend the religious freedoms of Pike County students.
"We are asking you all from our hearts to stand up for God if you don't stand up for nothing else," Allen Gibson told the board.
Group members spoke on a variety concerns, from displaying the Ten Commandments on school property to the teaching of evolution, but the main concern was whether students could bring Bibles to school.
"They read it at home but they can't take their Bible to school," said Lizzie Simpkins. "My little granddaughter picked up her Bible and you know it breaks my heart to tell my baby she can't take her Bible to school."
Board members assured everyone they will do nothing to infringe upon the religious freedoms of students.
Neal Smith, the school board's attorney, explained that students are free to share Bibles if they wish or practice their religion any way they choose.
He made the distinction saying that the school board just can't officially sanction any such activity without inviting a lawsuit.
"There are multiple case cites in here from other cases across the country that clearly hold that it's unconstitutional to distribute Bibles in the schools," he said. "You just can't do it."
Despite the school board's explanation, people we talked to remained defiant against any possible legal threat.
"They haven't fought nobody until they come to Appalachia and fight the people from Eastern Kentucky," Gibson said after the meeting.
As long as kids can continue to bring their Bibles for personal use, folks say they won't have any issues with the board of education's position.