Religious Discrimination when our youth need God the most!
Monday, November 12, 2001 12:00:00 PM
by susie harrison
|It happened to me - Bible hurled at mother by staff member as she leaves 15 year old son's treatment center!
Here is a copy and paste of a letter describing my own experience last weekend:
With what we thought was the help of Juvenile Probation, we got our 15
year old son in to a 'treatment' facility for youth troubled by alcohol and
drugs. As a christian family we actually welcomed this opportunity as we
were assured that even if our son was in 'lock down' that there would always
be a Bible in the room if nothing else. To our dismay we were cut off from
any contact with our son for 5 days. Upon finally speaking with him we were
told that Bibles were not allowed in the rooms because they could be
considered dangerous. However, our son was allowed to read and keep a book
about child abuse (is a 'book' dangerous, or the words in a book?). My son repeatedly requested a Bible so he could read it
for some comfort and guidence in his loneliness and confusion.
never would give him one until that fifth evening when I raised a fuss.
They allowed my son a Bible for two hours, then took it away with the claim
that another youth needed it. My son noticed several bibles on a shelf
outside of his cell un-used and gathering dust.
When I had my visitation on Saturday , I brought in a brand new paperback
bible just in case they would allow him to have it. Even though the social
worker thought it was a great idea, the supervisor was very rude with me and
refused to allow my son to have God's word that I took special care to bring
Upon leaving, the supervisor got me alone and reprimanded me for
being so persistant about my son needed a Bible. He handed my the new Bible
for me to take with me when I left. I smiled kindly and set it down by the
center door and said that I would leave it there, and pray that God would
soften the hearts of someone and that the bible would eventually get to my
As I walked out the door and down the sidewalk, I heard the door open behind
me and something flying in the air. Just missing me by a foot, I looked
down and saw the HOLY BIBLE I left for my son, crippled half on the
sidewalk and half in the dirt and gravel. I was grieved to see God's word
treated in such a fashion, but left it there as a statement to anyone who
would visit the center in the near future as a statement of their
Of course on Sunday, my son was not allowed a Bible, or to take part in any
worship of his religious beliefs. This was a crucial week for Scott to
grow in the Lord as we had hoped, it may have been his last chance. This
discrimination to our youth in a great time of vulnerability and need is a
disgrace to America.