Interpretation's Date: September 21, 1999
by superintendent Henry Marockie
Section: IV. Students

September 21, 1999

Ms. Shirley Palmer
Rural Route 1, Box 69
Inwood, West Virginia 25428-9701

Dear Ms. Palmer:

Governor Underwood forwarded your letter regarding the placement of Gideon International New Testament Bibles in schools to my office for response.

I am certain you are aware of the constitutional mandate for separation of church and state. The public, state and the county boards of education have long struggled with this issue.

In 1996, the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia in the case of Peck v. Upshur County Board of Education, 941 F. Supp. 1465 held that a school board may allow community members to make Bibles available to students in public schools by placing them on unattended tables with a sign stating "please feel free to take one."

Hoping that I have been of service, I am



Henry Marockie
State Superintendent of Schools


c: Cynthia Shaffer, Governor's Office


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