A Scripture Union book designed to help with the move to secondary school has been banned at a Scottish school after humanists complained it could “distress” pupils.
Robert Douglas Memorial School in Scone, Perthshire, decided to stop handing out the book to primary school leavers after a complaint from one humanist parent.
The move was described as “petty” by Revd David Robertson, the incoming Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland.
Students at the school had formerly been given a copy of the book called It’s Your Move at a leavers’ event, before they moved up to secondary school.
It is described as a “fun and friendly guide to moving to secondary school” but the Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) said it could “cause distress” for some children.
After being contacted by one parent, the Society wrote a complaint to the headteacher of the school, telling her “not to distribute such literature to pupils again”.
Speaking to The Courier, Revd David Robertson described the action taken by the HSS as “intimidation”.
He said: “I think it is very, very petty. The Humanists cannot handle a book which mentions prayer.
“This is petty and vindictive. I think this is a form of bullying and intimidation, telling a headteacher what to do.”
The local council authority, Perth and Kinross Council, said that the matter had been dealt with “satisfactorily”.
Calls for a ban on the Bible have been heard recently at Aberystwyth University in Wales.
Students there are pushing for thousands of Gideon Bibles to be removed from university accommodation.
A poll conducted by the students’ union claims that more than half of students felt that having the Bibles in university accommodation as a matter of course was “uncomfortable” or “unacceptable”.
A spokesman for The Christian Institute said: “It is hard to imagine how a person could actually be offended by a Bible simply being in their room.
“The Gideons have been supplying Bibles free of charge for over a century now, providing support and encouragement for Christians and non-Christians alike.
“Banning the Bible because some people might be uncomfortable with it would be a huge overreaction.”