Bring Your Bible FAQs
On Bring Your Bible to School Day— this year’s event is on Oct. 1, 2020 — students across the nation will celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. It’s an annual event for students sponsored by Focus on the Family. The event is designed to empower you as a student to express your belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.
Participation is voluntary and student-directed—meaning it’s completely up to students, Christian clubs and youth groups to sign up online and then lead the activities in their school.
So be sure to mark your calendars to participate in this event! (This year’s event is on Oct. 1, 2020.)
As a Christian student, you can be a powerful voice of hope at your school! In the Bible, it’s often young people who lead the way for the rest of their culture by providing an example of spiritual boldness and taking a courageous stand for their belief in God. We see this in the books of Daniel and Esther, which tell the stories of a young man and woman, who, despite their youth, had the courage to share God’s truth and love with an unbelieving culture.
The New Testament also speaks to the difference you can make: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity,” says I Timothy 4:12.
Also, simply by bringing your Bible to school and expressing your faith, you are helping to protect religious freedoms for other students. Read 5 Reasons to Get Involved.
Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive in this culture. We’re here to come alongside families with relevance and grace at each stage of their journey. We support families as they seek to teach their children about God and His beautiful design for the family, protect themselves from the harmful influences in culture and equip themselves to make a greater difference in the lives of those around them. No matter who you are, what you’re going through or what challenges your family may be facing, we’re here to help. With practical resources—like our 1-800-A-FAMILY (1-800-232-6459) Help line, counseling and websites—we’re committed to providing trustworthy, biblical guidance and support.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family. ADF offers pro bono legal assistance as deemed appropriate for Bring Your Bible to School Day students who encounter unconstitutional roadblocks to their free speech rights.
These fall into two basic categories:
1) First Amendment rights: As a student in a public school, you have First Amendment rights to engage in voluntary, free speech conversations in a way that does not interfere with or substantially disrupt classroom time and academic instruction. That means you can voluntarily express your personal and religious beliefs to your classmates through verbal or written expressions, as long as you follow school policy and do not engage in these activities during classroom or instruction time.
2) Equal Access rights: Student clubs (including Christian ones) and individuals also have equal access rights to participate in the same free speech expressions and activities already allowed by the school for other clubs and individuals. For instance, if your school allows a club or students to put up posters or distribute cards containing messages about a current topic, they should not discriminate against other students or clubs who also want to use those same free speech venues.
Yes, you can. As noted in the answer above, government schools cannot censor students from engaging in voluntary, free speech (written or verbal) about their deeply held religious beliefs—as long as the speech does not interrupt or cause a substantial disruption to academic instruction. For more information about this, review the legal resources in the Know Your Rights section.
Students from kindergarten all the way up to the college level can participate!
While you don’t need official permission to simply hold conversations with other classmates, it is a good idea to check for applicable school policies or notify school officials that you plan to distribute Conversation Cards and/or put up posters.
In general, according to First Amendment principles, schools should allow you to distribute student-initiated messages (like the Conversation Cards) before and after class.
But schools do have the ability to enforce basic procedures and regulations that students need to follow to engage in these activities. What schools can’t do, however, is enforce these regulations in a biased way and practice what’s known as “viewpoint discrimination”—allowing certain groups and students to engage in activities, while censoring or prohibiting other groups and students from engaging in those same activities simply because school officials happen to disagree with a certain viewpoint. Federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have repeatedly prohibited this kind of discrimination.
So if other students and clubs are allowed to put up posters and distribute cards, Christian clubs and Bring Your Bible to School Day participants should be given the same freedom. Also, schools must take care to enforce any regulations in a fair and neutral way—meaning, they can’t require more rules or restrictions for some student groups, while not enforcing those rules for others who are engaging in the same exact activities.
First, remember—even when encountering opposition or obstacles—it is extremely important to demonstrate the spirit of Christ and remain respectful at all times. If a principal or teacher (or someone else in authority) prohibits you from participating in these religious-freedom activities, you can first graciously request that they check with a supervisor or school attorney. (See Responding to Challenges for more details).
If they continue to insist that you stop doing something like distributing Conversation Cards, you should stop immediately. Then you can call 1-800-TELL-ADF for help in resolving the situation quickly. ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom) has a team of experienced lawyers ready and willing to help you remove any unconstitutional or improper roadblocks.
Again, the most important thing you can do is to reflect the spirit of Christ by remaining confident, but at the same time demonstrating compassion and kindness. Don’t return insult for insult or lose your temper. Detailed tips for handling these situations are available at Responding to Challenges.
No. The posters and Conversations Cards provided on this site are designed to communicate a loving message in the most loving respectful way. It is very important that the materials not be altered in any way, shape or form.
The movement doesn’t have to end on October 1! You and your friends can carry on the spirit of this initiative throughout the school year. You can do things like plan follow-up discussions in Christian club meetings or youth groups to talk about what religious freedom means to you—and discuss ideas for being more confident and proactive in sharing your faith and Christ’s love with others. For some ideas, review the weekly challenges.