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Playground Bible Study Case Headed Back to Court

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — A federal appeals court will hear arguments in the case of a Tennessee elementary school student who claimed he was prohibited from holding playground Bible studies.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear arguments in the case.

The original lawsuit was brought by the parents of student Luke Whitson in 2004. Whitson was in fourth grade at the time and was told by the school that he couldn’t hold Bible studies with his friends on the playground at recess.

A jury in Knoxville sided with Knox County Schools in the case, turning away arguments that Whitson’s rights were violated. The Court of Appeals has now decided to review that decision.

The Whitson’s are being represented in the case by Jonathon Scruggs, an attorney with the Arizona-based Christian legal group Alliance Defense Fund.

"There were no adults involved. It was simply children wanting to read the Bible on their own during recess. Students on their own can do these things as long as it's not during instructional time."

The Appeals Court will hear arguments in the case beginning February 29.

Mike Osborne is the News Director for WMOT and can be heard on-air daily.