President Obama, top hand, is sworn in as wife Michelle Obama holds up the same bible used by former president Abraham Lincoln, during Obama’s inauguration in 2009. (Dennis Brack/Bloomberg News)

Today, you may not know, is  national “Bring Your Bible to School Day,” so declared by a Christian ministry called Focus on The Family. Here’s what a Web site promoting the event says:

Did you know that students have recently been ordered to stop reading their Bibles during free time at school? Here at Focus on the Family, we believe the Bible is a powerful message of hope and love for humanity—something to be celebrated, not banned. We also believe in the cherished religious freedoms our Founding Fathers fought to protect.

Do you share our desire to reverse this trend and equip the next generation to boldly exercise their religious freedoms—and be unashamed of their biblical beliefs? Then you’ll love Focus on the Family’s new event for students: Bring Your Bible to School Day on October 16! Students all across the country can stand up and celebrate their religious freedoms together.

The day appears to be in reaction to a few cases in schools — including one in Florida in the spring — in which teachers reportedly told students they could not read their Bibles during free time.

In fact, federal regulations permit students to read their Bible, pray or study religious materials during non-instructional time, including lunch and recess.

An organization called “Alliance Defending Freedom” released a memo with legal advice explaining why schools must allow students to participate in the day. It says in part:

Schools must allow students to bring Bibles to school, distribute Bibles, and discuss the Bible with classmates because these activities will not materially disrupt school activities. The chance of such activities materially disrupting anything is exceedingly low. So long as these activities occur during non-instructional time — during lunch, walking between classes, or before or after school — these activities will not disrupt anything. Indeed, students most likely engage in a host of similar activities unrelated to the Bible during non-instructional time. For example, students probably discuss their favorite television shows or give each other notes or bring books to school all the time. As a result, schools may not single out and censor the Bible when all these other activities continually occur at school during non-instructional time.