"Let your conversations be always full of
grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:6
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this legal?
Yes! Released Time Bible Education (RTBE) is legal as long as the three stipulations stated in the 1952 U.S. Supreme Court decision are followed. RTBE must be off school property, privately funded, and must have parental permission to have the student a part of the program. Also the State of Tennessee Law § 49-2-130 gives parents the right to have their child in RTBE whether or not their local school district has a policy concerning RTBE.
Is it legal to be teaching from the Bible during the school day?
Yes! As a program we can teach the Bible during the school day as long as the three stipulations as stated in the U.S. Supreme Court decision are followed. An individual student can be an example and teach the Bible to fellow students while on the school campus.
Is it legal for a student to have a Bible in school?
Yes! Any student can have with them any religious book while on public school property.
How could the law have been around for so long and we didn't know about it?
Good question. States like California and Pennsylvania have RTBE in their states for over 80 and 40 years respectively. Twenty-six states have laws regarding Bible Released Time Education, federally mandated by the Supreme Court. One of SOS! For The Students’ purposes is to educate fellow citizens and local governments about the benefits of RTBE.
Can other religions do this at schools, too?
Yes! All parents have the right have their child attend a similar program, if available.
Are state monies used for this program?
No. One of the stipulations from the 1952 U. S. Supreme Court decision is that no state or federal monies can be used.
What does the name "SOS! For the Students" mean?
SOS is the universal code created in 1906 as a radio distress call used for ships. Over time it has become the call of distress for any situation by someone on a radio but also using flashing lights or using logs on a beach to spell out SOS.
Students in today’s society are signaling their SOS due to the breakdown of family, negative peer pressure and isolation due to social media, depression, anxiety, and less hope as a generation. Being a child figuring out who you are and how you fit in the world is difficult enough. The youngest generation of today witnesses or experiences more violence, stress, and a negative culture coming at them in every direction than any previous generation. All this causes more students than ever in our country's history to exhibit self-harm, emotional issues, aggressive behavior and/or hopelessness. By their actions they are signaling a SOS distress call for help.
The second half of our name, For The Students, is the call for people to stand up and answer the distress call of students. SOS! For The Students answers the call by showing students how to handle life’s stresses and have a better life through the teachings of character, hope and love found in the Bible.
What does SOS! For the Students believe?
SOS! For the Students maintains that the Bible, as the divine Word of God, is the ultimate authority for Christians. We believe the narrative of Scripture that climaxes in the gospel message that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead. We believe this gospel is true and the essential way by which sinners are reconciled to God.
What is our motive?
SOS! For the Students is giving students character education with the Bible as the textbook. There are no political or religious alliances. Our motive is to make a positive difference in student lives.
How do I sign up to volunteer, donate, and/or become a prayer partner?
Please go to the SOS! Partners tab on the top right of our website.
What is the process on screening volunteers?
All volunteers will be required to submit to background checks, an interview process, character references, and have similar Christian beliefs.
What child safety training will volunteers receive?
Volunteers will receive First Aid Training and Child Safety Training. Also all volunteers must read and sign the SOS! Volunteer/Student Protection Policies Document.
How is SOS! For the Students funded?
Each SOS! For the Students local school program is funded by private donations through single individuals, Sunday school classes, local churches, businesses, and SOS! FTS group fundraising efforts. This is a free program with no cost to schools or participating families.
If I donate, is it tax deductible?
Yes! SOS! For the Students is an IRS registered non-profit 501(c)3 public charity incorporated in the State of Tennessee.
What denomination does this program represent?
SOS! For The Student does not endorse any denomination or church nor is it endorsed by any denomination or church. We are a non-denominational organization. As C.S. Lewis wrote, "We are Mere Christians".
What is the Bible version being used?
The New King James Version (NKJV) is the translation used in the program. As part of their completing the program at the end of the semester, each child will receive a Bible .
Is SOS! For The Students a political movement?
No. SOS! For The Students is not affiliated with or supports any particular political party. SOS! For The Students is for all families regardless of political persuasion.
Why not have the program before or after school?
With the program available during the school day, all students have the opportunity to be taught Biblical character and how to handle life's stresses. This does not interfere with a students' extracurricular activities or deny students who could not attend due to transportation to and from school. Also the U.S. Supreme Court and the State of Tennessee says that the program can be held during the school day.
Will my child miss academic instruction?
No. We are working with schools to ensure they will not miss any direct, academic instruction. The students are transported off the school campus during one of their elective classes or during their lunch/recess times.
How do I sign up my child to learn about Biblical character?
Click on the Sign Up tab at the top of our website. Then click on the Sign Up Your Child dropdown. Step one is to complete the online form to give SOS! For The Students the information and your approval for your child to be apart of the class. Step two is to download, print, and sign the SOS! Parental Permission Form. Have your child turn in the signed form to their teacher or you can drop off the form at the front office of the school. If unable to complete the online process, please stop by your school's front office to complete both forms available at the office. The school must have the signed SOS! Parental Form to release your child to be transported off the school campus.
What are we using for curriculum?
After reviewing several curriculums, a curriculum developed and implemented for 40 years by the organization Bible2School was selected by SOS! For the Students. The curriculum avoids getting into theology and doctrine of church denominations but focuses on the fundamental lessons taught in the Bible that teaches character and how to live a better life.
How much will this cost me?
Biblical character being taught to students during the school day is FREE to any student signed up to the program.
Will there be teacher training?
Yes! Teachers and assistants will be trained on the curriculum to have continuity of the lesson in each class.
What grade levels will have access to this program?
Currently we will be teaching character development using the Bible beginning with third grade students. In the future we will expand to all school grade levels.
May I come and observe the class prior to signing my child up for SOS! For The Students?
A variety of ways to learn about the program will be available, however, in order to maintain the integrity, environment, and confidentiality of each student in the program, visits will only be allowed to take place without students in attendance. Arrangements will need to be made with a board member to facilitate a visit.
My child has a disability. Will they be able to participate?
Our programs strives to meet the needs of all students in the community we serve. Every effort will be made to include students with modifications and accommodations were appropriate and possible. Our preference would be to have a preliminary meeting prior to a child with special needs attending his/her first SOS! For The Students class. It would be our hope and desire to be able to meet each child’s needs, no matter their ability, religious backgrounds, or behavior.
Does SOS! For The Students have protocols for behavioral issues?
If at all possible, a moment will be taken to explain to the student what the behavioral expectations are, and discuss with them how best to move forward. A “teachable moment” is considered of great value in a child’s learning. Each SOS! For The Students class should have two adult volunteers to aid teachers with behavioral issues as necessary. If the poor behavior persists, the student will be escorted back to the school by the bus driver and an SOS! volunteer. An agreed upon process by SOS! For The Students and the public school will be followed if a student has been returned to their school for a behavioral issue.
Can I pick up my child from the location of SOS! For The Students if I forget about an appointment?
No. Children will never be released from the SOS program location directly to a parent. A parent wanting to pick up their child must call the school office with the request to contact SOS! For The Students to have their child return to the school. Only the student's public school can release a student back to their parent.
Do I need to pay for the shirt my child receives for being a participant?
No. Shirts are provided free of charge and requested to be worn on the day of your child’s program.
Who assumes liability for students during SOS! For The Students?
SOS! For The Students assumes liability for students the moment they exit the school. SOS! For The Students carries liability insurance and enforces extensive safety and security protocols.
Are there security procedures at the RTBE classroom?
Yes! SOS! For The Students follows the same safety procedures as the local school district. Students will practice the same safety drills that are utilized in their school like fire, tornado, and lock down drills. Also the local school's safety protocols for students while being transported to and from the classroom are followed. Attendance will be taken before departure at each building. Identification badges will be worn by all staff and students. Staff members will have matching tee-shirts. A volunteer at each classroom location will be trained in First Aid and CPR. All volunteers will have Child Safety Training prior to working with students.
Will students walk or ride the bus to the program?
Depending how far our classroom is from the school determines whether the students will walk or ride a bus/van.
How will the drivers be selected?