July 2, 1999
Ms. L. Glena Flick
Route 2, Box 196
Inwood, West Virginia 25428
Dear Ms. Flick:
Governor Underwood forwarded your letter regarding the placement of Gideon
International New Testament Bibles in schools and prayer 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.
Despite these struggles, it is a fact that the United States Supreme Court has
ruled that school sponsored prayer is unconstitutional. Additionally, providing Bibles
to students in public schools would also constitute a constitutional violation.
Your concern is appreciated. However, my office has no authority to assist
you in your pursuit of prayer in public schools or the distribution of Gideon Bibles in
Hoping that I have been of service, I am
State Superintendent of Schools
c: Cynthia Shaffer, Governor?s Office