Bible course could be offered at SCHS

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by SHANTEL PETTWAY/Magnet Intern


All Kentucky public schools now have the choice of teaching ‘Bible Literacy’ as an elective history course this upcoming academic year.

In April, the House passed a bill that required the Kentucky Board of Education to implement an administrative framework for a history elective that teaches a combination of Hebrew Scriptures, and the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. As the new school year approaches, some school districts will choose to implement this new history course into its curriculum.

Spencer County will not have the newly presented curriculum this semester, Superintendent Chuck Adams said.

Student surveys are conducted during the school year that select the majority of electives that the students are offered the next semester. The House Bill passed after last year’s student surveys were submitted. Although, the Bible course won’t be taught this year, Adams eagerly sees the possibility of the course being taught in the future.

“This law gives us the authority now to integrate biblical concepts,” Adams said.

Adams said he believes allowing the Bible to be taught as an elective in history will fairly level the teaching spectrum for students.

“Evolution was taught as fact and the Bible was taught as theory. Now we have a chance to introduce more information for students,” Adams said.

The bill that passed 80-10 in the House, did have some opposition, evidence that not everyone thinks that integrating the Bible into schools is a good idea. For Edwin Hensley, treasurer of the Kentucky Secular Society, his concern is the possibility of proselytization.

“Teaching the Bible, especially in rural areas, there will be temptation to teach it in a way that backs your own ideals,” Hensley said.

The fear of teachers imposing their own ideas onto students isn’t a concern for Spencer County, according to Adams.

“We can’t influence a person to our faith, that has always been the case and nothing is changing,” Adams said.

One of the only ways that Hensley believes the course could benefit students is if the courses were comparative literacy courses taught in a non-devotional way. For Hensley, the Bible should be taught up against other religious books like the Quran for example.

But Adams is certain that the task of separating personal faith from professional teaching will not be a problem for teachers in his district.

“Teachers have been trained – some through FCA [Fellowship of Christian Athletes] to handle the separation of religion and teaching,” Adams said. ‘They’ll be able to tackle this,” he said.

The bill doesn’t require districts to make this a course in schools, and the course, if implemented in a school, will not be required. The Bible literacy course will be an elective for students to choose whether or not they want to take it.