Have questions about Bring Your Bible to School Day? We’ve got you covered!
What is Bring Your Bible to School Day all about?
#BringYourBible is a nationwide, student-led movement to read and treasure Scripture as God’s Holy Word, to encourage others with the hope we have in Christ Jesus, and to celebrate our religious freedoms in the United States. It all culminates with Bring Your Bible to School Day on the first Thursday of October. (This year, the celebration will be October 7, 2021!) This event empowers Christian students of all ages to speak God’s grace and truth into the culture around them, starting with two simple steps — bringing their Bibles to school and sharing what God’s Word means to them.
Students of any age can participate – remember the words of 1 Timothy 4:12: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (ESV).
Can I really bring my Bible to school?
Yes, you can! As a student, you have constitutional rights to bring your Bible to school with you whenever you would like. These rights 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. It just has to be done in a way that does not interfere with or substantially disrupt classroom time and academic instruction. You can voluntarily express your personal and religious beliefs to your classmates through verbal or written expressions. But make sure to 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 have equal access rights to participate in the same free speech expressions and activities already allowed by the school for other clubs and individuals.
How do I get started and get in touch with other Bring Your Bible to School Day participants?
What are some things I can do to participate in Bring Your Bible to School Day?
Why is it important for me to be involved?
As a Christian student, you can be a powerful voice of hope at your school! In the Bible, it was often young people who led the way for the rest of their culture by taking a courageous stand for their belief in God. For example, check out the books of Daniel and Esther. Despite their youth, had the courage to share God’s truth and love with those around them.
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.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
Also, by bringing your Bible to school, you are helping to protect religious freedoms for other students. For more, check out 5 Reasons to Get Involved in Bring Your Bible to School Day.
Can I talk about my religious beliefs?
Yes! Schools cannot censor students from engaging in voluntary free speech (written or verbal) about their deeply held religious beliefs. But the speech cannot interrupt or cause a substantial disruption to academic instruction. For more information about this, review the legal resources in the Know Your Rights section.
What grade level do you have to be in order to participate?
Students from kindergarten all the way up to through college can participate!
Do I need permission from school officials to hold this event?
You don’t need official permission to simply hold conversations with other classmates. However, it is a good idea to check school policies ahead of time. You can also notify school officials that you plan to participate and promote Bring Your Bible to School Day.
In general, schools should allow you to distribute student-initiated messages (like posters, etc.) before and after class. However, 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. That practice is known as “viewpoint discrimination.” That means 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, 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. This means 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.
What happens if I have trouble being allowed to participate at my school?
It is extremely important to demonstrate the spirit of Christ and remain respectful at all times. Even when you encounter opposition or obstacles. If a principal or teacher (or someone else in authority) prohibits you from participating in these activities, you can 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, such as handing out flyers, 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 roadblocks you may face.
What should I do if people respond angrily to me?
Again, the most important thing you can do is to reflect the spirit of Christ. Remain confident while demonstrating compassion and kindness. Don’t return insults or lose your temper. Tips for handling these situations are available in Responding to Challenges.
What can I do the rest of the year?
The movement doesn’t have to end on October 7! You and your friends can carry on the spirit of this event throughout the school year. Take on the Live It Challenges, monthly challenges designed to help you live out your faith at school and in the community.
Who is Focus on the Family?
Bring Your Bible to School Day is a initiative of Focus on the Family. 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.
Who is the Alliance Defending Freedom?
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.