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ICC Note: Earlier this year, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sued a West Virginia school district over a course about the Bible that the district offered. Now, the district is considering offering a new Bible class that would serve as an elective course for English or social studies. The FFRF condemned the original Bible course as “egregiously unconstitutional” because they said that the class would encourage students to view Christianity favorably.

By Stephanie Parker

05/15/2017 United States (Faith Wire) – A West Virginia school district currently being sued by the Freedom From Religion Foundation over a Bible course that’s been around since 1939 is contemplating adding an entirely new elective high school Bible class.

No decision has been made by the Mercer County Board of Education, but if the program is approved, it would replace the “Bible in the Schools” program currently being offered in elementary schools.

In January, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed a lawsuit against the West Virginia school district on behalf of an unnamed atheist parent and their child who called the “Bible in the Schools” courses “egregiously unconstitutional,” Faithwire reported.

Amanda Aliff, the school system’s coordinator of pupil services, said the Bible course would be offered as an English or social studies elective course that would meet educational and legal standards. Students would use “The Bible and Its Influence” as a textbook for the class.

Aliff said the book is used in 625 public high schools in 43 different states, arguing that it “falls in line with what we do every day in English classes.” She went on to explain that the Bible will be looked at as a piece of literature and the text will be studied as imagery, poetry and history, and said “[the class] would incorporate analysis, evaluation and critical thinking skills.” Teachers would also have the textbook, an assessment program and training on how it should be taught in order to meet national standards.

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