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ICC Note: As part of an ongoing effort to remove faith from the public sphere in the United States, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has sent a letter to a North Carolina public school demanding that optional classes teaching on the topic of the Bible be shut down. Over the past several years there have been numerous incidents of teachers and students facing backlash when attempting to share or even express their faith at public schools. Groups like the FFRF have aggressively advocated for policies that would help ensure that expressions or symbols of faith are banned from all public institutions. 

10/6/2014 United States (Christian News) – A prominent atheist activist organization is seeking to end the presentation of optional Bible classes at several elementary schools in North Carolina.

The Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letter to officials with the Rowan-Salisbury School System after it received a complaint from an unidentified individual who took issue with the Bible being taught to children in public school.

According to reports, the 45-minute classes are being held at Cleveland, Woodleaf and Mount Ulla Elementary Schools and parents may opt their children out of the instruction if they wish. FFRF says that it was informed that one class “presented the Bible as literal fact, including teaching a seven-day creation, giving students examples of ‘God’s plan’ that ‘clearly’ showed the universe was created with a purpose, and supposed examples of the Bible predicting scientific discoveries.”

“These classes are flagrantly unconstitutional,” the letter, written by attorney Patrick Elliott. states. “Presenting the text of the Bible as true in a public school violates a host of Supreme Court cases.”

He asserted that the classes are still wrongful even though parents may opt out their children.

“It is irrelevant that parents may excuse students from the elementary Bible classes,” the letter continued. “Suggesting that children who do not wish to be subjected to religious activity at their school should be segregated from their classmates is reprehensible. … It makes no difference if some parents would like the Rowan-Salisbury School system to teach the Bible as fact to its students.”

Elliott asked that district officials put an end to all elementary school Bible classes, and also investigate religious studies in the upper grade levels.

“The district must take the necessary corrective action to ensure that the Bible is only studied by mature students for academic purposes, in classes taught by teachers with no religious bias, using objective course materials,” he wrote.

The district says that it is looking into the matter, but has declined to comment at this time. Some parents state that they had no problem with their children being taught Christian values in school.

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