A federal judge's ruling that school officials acted properly in barring a first-grader from reading a Bible story to his classmates is being appealed.

Nearly two years ago, when Zachary Hood was in first grade at the Maurice and Everett Haines School, he and other children were rewarded for good reading performances by being allowed to read a story of their choice. Zachary chose a story about Jacob and Esau from The Beginner's Bible.Because of the subject, teacher Grace Oliva asked Zachary to read the story to her privately, whereupon she decided it was inappropriate for the class. Zachary's mother says her son was humiliated by the experience.

The family filed suit in June 1996.

Backed by the Virginia-based Rutherford Institute, an appeal has been filed in the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.