Open Bible with glasses

BLUEFIELD – A motion to dismiss a lawsuit relating to the Bible in the Schools program has been filed by a law firm representing the Mercer County Board of Education.

Court documents asking the federal court to dismiss the lawsuit were filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern Division of West Virginia. In January a lawsuit was submitted by the Freedom From Religion Foundation on behalf of a plaintiff listed as Jane Doe, an atheist who wishes to raise her daughter, listed as Jamie Doe, without religion. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff says the child risks being ostracized by other students if she does not participate in the Bible classes.

In the motion to dismiss, First Liberty Institute based in Plano, Texas., which is representing Mercer County Schools, said in court documents that the plaintiffs do not have standing to bring the case to court. First Liberty Institute also argues that the complaint does not attack the particular curriculum of the Bible classes offered in Mercer County Schools; instead, it attacks the fact that any such classes, regardless of the specific curriculum, exists.

"Three plaintiffs ask the court to issue an injunction forever ending Bible classes taught in public school in Mercer County, West Virginia. But none of these plaintiffs has ever attended or even been eligible to attend such classes. Plaintiff Jamie Doe, Jane’s Doe’s child, a kindergartner, is not old enough to enroll," according to the motion to dismiss court documents.

Additional details regarding the motion to dismiss the lawsuit will be in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph story running Thursday.

– Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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