Brytney admits that she was pretty nervous about the whole thing. What would her fellow students say? How would they treat her? More important, what would the teachers do?
After all, Brytney is the kind of student who pushes herself academically; the kind of student who doesn't want any C's — much less any disciplinary issues. Would bringing her Bible to school make a positive impact, or would it only lead to trouble?
The 14-year-old from Oregon first learned about Bring Your Bible to School Day when a youth leader at church showed her an event flyer. Brytney was concerned about the potential consequences of participating, but she was also excited. Her youth leader told Brytney she had every right to carry her Bible, and the teenager took a picture of the announcement with her phone.
The day of the event, during her fourth-period class, Brytney and her fellow students finished their work early, which meant they had some free time. Brytney got out her Bible and started reading. That's when a teacher took notice.
"What is that?" he asked.
"It's my Bible."
"You are not allowed to have that at school. . . . It's talking about God."
"Actually," said Brytney, "it's Bring Your Bible to School Day."
That's when she pulled out her phone and showed the teacher her photo of the flyer. Apparently it did the trick.
The teacher went on his way, and Brytney kept on reading.
Bring Your Bible to School Day gave Brytney the opportunity to exercise her religious rights and the courage to express her faith at her public school.
The first Bring Your Bible to School Day took place Oct. 16, 2014. The annual nationwide event, sponsored by Focus on the Family, encourages students to take their Bibles to school as a way to celebrate their religious freedom and share God's hope and love with their peers.
When Carson's parents showed him the email from Focus on the Family, the 10-year-old from Indiana got right to work. First, Carson and his younger brother, Sam, handed out cards at school to promote the event. Then they made special "Bring Your Bible" T-shirts to wear that day. Their efforts paid off when about 10 kids at Carson's school decided to join in.
"One boy didn't have a Bible," says the boys' mother, Cara, "so Carson gave him one, and he shared another with a friend who has been reading it during free reading every day since then."
Carson says his classmate was eager to have a Bible but didn't have the money to get one for himself. For Carson, the answer was easy.
"When I first told him I was going to give him a Bible, he was excited and happy because he really wanted to participate in the event."
Camdyn and Brighton, two young sisters from Maryland, learned about Bring Your Bible to School Day when their father received the same email announcement. It turns out that Oct. 16 was also the day for class photos at their elementary school.
"It was picture day," Brighton says, "and before we knew it, it was Bring Your Bible to School Day."
The girls were busy picking out their clothes, Camdyn says, "then when we found out about [the event], we really didn't care what we wore. We wanted to get our Bibles ready."
The girls were confident, but the family was new to their school and their parents started to worry. How would a Bible-toting first- and third-grader fit in with their peers? In the end, their father said, it was the girls who modeled bold faith to their parents.
"I thought it was a good way to show people what I believe in — that I'm a Christian," Camdyn says. "We really don't talk about it at public school, so I thought it was really cool."
After her fourth-period class, Brytney brought her Bible to lunch. As usual, she sat down to eat with her friends.
"Do you guys want to hear my favorite verse?" she asked.
When her classmates said yes, Brytney ended up reading the entire chapter of John 14. Out loud.
"When I looked up, they were all just jaw-dropped."
Learn more about Bring Your Bible to School Day by visiting BringYourBible.org. Carson, for one, wants to have even more classmates bring their Bibles.
"We have to speak up and know the rights we have," he says. "The more people who spread the word about God, the better it is."