School system bans distribution of religious materials

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PIKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Bledsoe county school system has banned the distribution of religious material from its schools, meaning Christian organization Gideons International can no longer give out Bibles on Bledsoe campuses.

Bledsoe County Schools Superintendent Jennifer Terry tells WRCB the decision came after someone made a formal complaint. Terry wouldn't elaborate on the complaint's details. She says the distribution of religious materials in schools violates constitutional provisions.

Gideon Chaplain Charlie Queen says he's been giving away Bibles at Bledsoe County schools for years. He says students could take one or walk away without being pressured.

Community members plan to protest this decision at the next school board meeting. School leaders say they have a Bible History course that includes a textbook and students are allowed to bring their personal bible to school if they wish to.