The Chilliwack School District has officially ended the distribution of Gideon Bibles to students in its district, a Freedom of Information request has confirmed.
Since bringing in a new policy on the Distribution of Materials, the district has received requests to distribute materials from 16 organizations. It rejected one request, from the Future West Moto Arenacross, and received none from religious groups. Superintendent Evelyn Novak also said in an attached letter, “while we acknowledge there was some distribution of Gideon Bible parent request pamphlets and the Gideon Bibles to grade five students until last fall, the practice has not occurred this year 2014/2015 and will not occur in the future.”
This is fantastic news and shows that the new policy is working as promised – community groups like Active for Life Chilliwack and the Chilliwack Lions Club are able to distribute information about health and fitness activities for children. Meanwhile, organizations hoping to proselytize or advertise to students are no longer able to gain privileged access through our schools.
Curiously, the response doesn’t include the request from CFI Canada to distribute Richard Dawkins’ The Magic of Reality.
The request was submitted by Ian Bushfield who was Executive Director of the BCHA until 2013 and is currently living in the UK. The response is below.