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Bible study course gets consideration

Religion as it affected history and literature may soon beoffered as an elective class at county schools.

The state-approved curriculum class, “The Bible In History AndLiterature,” was presented to the Lincoln County School DistrictBoard of Trustees Monday night by Lesa Harrison Baker of theNational Council Bible Curriculum in Public Schools. It wasapproved for review by the district’s curriculum director, and theboard will vote on whether to add the class once the director makesa recommendation.

Superintendent Terry Brister said the board should not feelpressured to reject the course simply because it has the Bible inits name.

The current political and judicial climate, which has beenmoving toward more separation of church and state, is not a reasonto disapprove the course, Brister said. The board should considerthe course information provided by Baker and the curriculum of theclass before making a decision, he said.

“I would not stay away from this because it has the Bible in itsname,” Brister said. “This country was built on those principles.Some of us need to start standing up for what we believe” andpresenting history in its correct historical context.

The class does not teach students what to believe, according toBaker, but teaches history as it is found in the King Jamesversion.

“The teacher cannot tell them what to believe,” Baker said.”Students would be referred to their pastors or preachers for thosetype of questions.”

The class has a 40-year history in public schools across thenation, she said, and is endorsed by many leading organizations,including the American Family Law Association.

“This class goes to morality and values and can expose some kidsto things they may not be getting at home,” Baker said.

The Brookhaven School District has a similar class, but it’slisted as a Middle Eastern history course, she said.

Baker also presented the board with a petition with thesignatures of 945 Lincoln County citizens, but admitted some of thesignatures may be from people with children in the city district orat Brookhaven Academy.