JOPLIN – Bible study groups that were shut down by the Joplin School District here in early January have now resumed, according to the Joplin Globe.
The school district suspended the Bible study groups, Jan. 6, after officials received a complaint from the Washington, D.C.-based American Humanist Association (AHA) last December. While investigating the complaint, they realized that the groups didn’t comply with current school board policies regarding student-initiated groups. While they said the group was voluntary, student-led and constitutional, they also noted that district policies allow student-initiated groups only in grades nine through 12.
As a result, a group of youth ministers are reopening the studies in accordance with a district policy that allows “community groups to sponsor such meetings through the rental of school buildings,” the Globe reported.
Lew Poe, a youth pastor at Wildwood Baptist Church, Joplin, told the Globe on Jan. 24 that the groups will still be voluntary and student-led.
“What the ultimate goal is, and was before, is to lift up student leaders,” he said.