ICC Note: As reported in March, a bill that authorizes an elective course on the Bible in Kentucky public schools passed through the Kentucky House of Representatives in a vote of 80-14. After moving forward to the state senate, the bill was passed in a vote of 34-4 and has been signed by the governor of Kentucky. This course would teach students about the Bible from a historical perspective, without promoting Christianity or providing religious instruction.
By Heather Clark
04/20/2017 United States (Christian News Network) – The Republican governor of Kentucky has signed a bill that authorizes the creation of elective social studies courses on the Bible in public schools.
House Bill 128 overwhelmingly passed the state Senate last month 34-4 after clearing the House 80-14.
As previously reported, the legislation was introduced by Rep. DJ Johnson, R-Owensboro, who says that its purpose is “to provide guidance, uniformity, and constitutional support for the local school boards that may be wanting to offer such courses, but are unsure of the way to proceed.”
Under policies to be crafted by the Kentucky Department of Education, the course would “teach students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy.”
It would serve historical purposes rather than provide religious instruction, and districts would be required to stay neutral on Christianity.
Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Paducah, told Kentucky Today that a high school in his district is already offering a Bible course, and there has been much interest from students.
“I’ve learned it is one of the most popular classes,” he said. “It’s very successful; the sky didn’t fall with this being taught, and it is very beneficial.”