Kentucky’s Education Committee passed a unanimous bill that permits public educators to use the Bible for literacy class, as a means to improve students’ knowledge of poetry, stories and biblical characters. Through this course, students are expected to develop analytical skills and historical knowledge that they can take to their other social studies courses.
One of the requirements of the bill is that the Kentucky Board of Education will have to create an elective course on the Bible in the social studies program. Policymakers have stated that the course is designed to be more educational than religious, with its main purpose being to help students gain a broader understanding of modern culture and society.
The bill is being sponsored by Democratic State Sen. Robin L. Webb, who received unanimous support. Webb recalled that, when he was a child, he was using the Bible as a way to learn about literature in the classroom.
“It’s just like the dissection and discussion of any other book,” said Webb, who believes adding this course will be a positive change in the school district.
Democratic State Senator Gerald A. Neal agrees with Webb, stating that “the course will not teach the Bible, but instead it would teach about the Bible.”
The difference is that the course is not designed in any way to sway the students’ religious belief, but instead to teach about the Bible, giving a basic foundation for future courses in history and social studies.
The Education Committee believes this will be a great value to the school system, adding that the Bible is not something that we should run away from, but instead we should embrace it, as a part of our history. Senator Webb has confirmed that the course would have to follow strict guidelines that enforce religious neutrality, as not to sway students, reports AWM.
However, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky is opposing the bill, stating that government employees should not teach religious beliefs to children and that the decision to teach about the Bible should be made by the parents and religious leaders.
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