A Missouri middle schooler and his parents complained the 12-year-old’s teacher stopped him from reading the Bible during free time, but their story fell apart on closer examination.
Loyal Grandstaff said he decided to bring his favorite book to school to read before the holiday break, and he said the teacher asked him to stop – even though he claims he wasn’t reading aloud or during class time.
“He doesn’t want me reading it in his class because he don’t believe it, because he feels like he’s shut down,” the boy said.
The story, first reported Monday by WDAF-TV, quickly went viral, and the principal promised to investigate the incident.
Lance Tobin, principal of Bueker Middle School in Marshall, said Thursday that he had found no evidence the incident happened.
“The incident was never validated,” Tobin said. “There is no teacher involved whatsoever.”
He said the TV station aired their report before he had a chance to investigate, which he said frustrated him.
Tobin declined to say whether he believed the incident was entirely fabricated, and he isn’t sure why the claims were made.
But the principal said he spoke with the boy and his parents to explain that Bibles were not banned from the school.
“We just all agreed, and we talked about school and religion,” Tobin said. “I wanted to make sure that they were comfortable understanding that their child could have the Bible at school and could read the Bible at school.”
Watch this video report posted online by WDAF-TV: