Joplin middle schools resume Bible studies

Bible study groups that were previously halted in Joplin middle schools earlier this month are going to resume as early as next week.

The Joplin Globe ( ) reports that the groups were criticized from the American Humanist Association in December, saying the studies involved both teachers and outside ministry members leading students in prayer and Scripture readings.

Joplin administrators deemed the groups constitutional because participation was voluntary and groups were student-led. But the studies were suspended anyway because student-led groups are only allowed at the high school level.

Now, local youth ministers involved with the Bible groups are planning to revive them under a board policy allowing community groups to sponsor such meetings by renting school buildings. Youth Pastor Lew Poe says the rental fees for the groups will be paid through donations from churches and private individuals or businesses.

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