A unanimous bill was recently passed amongst Kentucky’s Education Committee. The bill states that public educators are permitted to use the Bible for literacy class, as a means to better students’ knowledge of poetry, stories and biblical characters. The purpose of the course is to help students 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. According to policymakers, the course is designed to be more educational than religious and its purpose is to help students gain a broader of understanding of modern culture and society.
The bill is being sponsored by Democratic State Sen. Robin L. Webb, who received unanimous support. As a child, Webb was remembers 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 feels the addition of the course will be a positive one in the school district. Democratic State Senator Gerald A. Neal agrees with Webbs, 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 it is designed to teach about the Bible, which will eventually serve as a basic foundation for future courses in history and social studies.
The Education Committee believes that the addition of the course will be a great value to the school system, and the Bible is not something that we should run away from, but instead we should embrace it, as it is 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.
Policymakers have put their reasoning for the course out into the world, but that hasn’t stopped others from voicing their objection for the course. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky is one of the groups that 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.
The mission of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky (ACLU) is to defend the rights and liberties of all individuals, based on the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The organization works diligently to promote and protect the constitutional rights of residents.
Commenters had a mixture of feelings toward the passing of the bill…