Faithandthelaw's Blog

The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

California school district adopts Bible course

Posted by faithandthelaw on July 7, 2010

A California school district has decided in a 5-0 vote to adopt a Bible course that will be available to students in the upcoming school year.

Beginning this fall, high school seniors of the Chino Valley School District will have the chance to enroll in a new course called “Bible as/in Literature and History.”

Envisioned by the board’s Vice President James Na, the class will focus on giving students an understanding of the Bible’s influence in history, literature, religion and politics. It will offer a survey of the Bible, beginning with the historical context of the Old Testament, and then will focus on the New Testament later in the semester. It will also provide students with a historical knowledge of the Middle East.

Students may take the course as an elective, fulfilling the general requirement for admission into California State University and the University of California.

Fred Youngblood, president of the Board of Education, believes the course will better equip students in life, and he hopes other school districts will offer a similar class.

“It is my belief that better understanding the Bible will help all students with their decision-making process,” he explains.

The class stems from parents in the district who showed an interest in having the Bible taught in the public school system. The committee considered the comments and began to research how the district could meet the request.

The Chino Valley Board of Education must make sure that the course will adhere to the state education code and to California state laws, so it will remain neutral in its religious teachings and will portray the Bible as a monumental piece of literature.

Youngblood is in the process of securing a textbook that will provide the basis of the course’s curriculum.

“The preface of the textbook…states, ‘The Bible has been and still is one of the most influential books ever published. Its influence is seen in literature, art, music, culture, public policy and public debate,'” the board president reports.

He believes the Bible will make a helpful impact in the lives of the students.

“The Bible has been a part of my life ever since I could remember. It has had a very positive influence on me and my family,” Youngblood shares. “It is my hope that our students will have a better understanding of the impact the Bible has had on all that surrounds us.”

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