RELIGION

Mother sues to stop Bible classes in West Virginia schools

A kindergartner's mother is suing her public school system in West Virginia, asking that it discontinue a 75-year practice of putting kids in Bible classes that violate the U.S. and state constitutions.

The woman, identified as "Jane Doe" in the federal lawsuit backed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, says her child will be forced either to take these weekly classes at her Mercer County elementary school or face ostracism as one of the few children who don't.

A call to Mercer County Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Akers wasn't immediately returned Friday.

Teresa Russell, another county schools official, told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that the Bible courses are voluntary, financed by a nonprofit group and that the system's 19 elementary and middle schools provide alternative courses at the same time.