Alabama Adopts New Textbook for Academic Study of the Bible State Board of Education decision provides state funding and approval for “The Bible In History and Literature”, by the National Council On Bible Curriculum In Public Schools.
MEDIA ADVISORY, Nov. 20 /Christian Newswire/
The following is submitted by Scott Beason, Alabama State Senator:
Last week, after a rigorous, year long evaluation process, the Alabama State Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the Bible Curriculum, “The Bible in History and Literature”, for statewide usability. The curriculum published by the National Council On Bible Curriculum In Public Schools is already being used in several school districts across Alabama, but State Board approval means that local districts can now be reimbursed by the State for the cost of the course materials. Reports and studies released over the last few years indicate that leading high school English teachers, as well as university level literature professors, believe that students should possess a strong familiarity with the Bible in order to attain a well rounded education. It is extremely difficult to understand western thought including history, politics, and social interaction without an understanding of the content of the Bible.
“The Bible in History and Literature” has undergone tremendous scholarly review. Members of the team that provides academic review of the curriculum have graduate degrees from and have studied and worked at such prestigious institutions as Oxford, Harvard, Princeton, and the Hebrew University and the Jerusalem University in Israel.
“The Bible in History and Literature” has widespread support across these United States and is currently used in 472 school districts (1900 high schools) in 38 states. The overwhelming majority, 94 percent, of the school districts nationwide that have officially considered the curriculum have adopted the course for use in their local systems. To date, over 210,000 students have taken the course.
This approval by the State Board of Education will allow any of Alabama’s over 500 high schools to offer this elective course on the Bible that has been thoroughly reviewed by scholars and is proven to be academically legitimate for study. www.bibleinschools.net 1 877 ON BIBLE.
Bible Ban Lifted at Mount Vernon, Ohio, Public School District
The Mount Vernon City Schools is again the center of controversy over Bibles. During the last school year, John Freshwater, a 24 year veteran teacher, was suspended on other issues after a conflict over finding a Bible on his desk. This school year, the public school staffers in the small community of Mount Vernon, Ohio, were ordered by administrators to remove all religious materials and displays from their rooms including their Bibles.
Last week, one of its middle school teachers, Lori Miller, was confronted about personal devotional materials being on her desk and was directed to remove it. When she asked for support from her local and state union (affiliated with the National Education Association), she was told that she had no grounds for her grievance and it was justified via a legal opinion from the state level. Locally, the union insisted she comply and tried to block her from filing a grievance due to what her own union termed her violation of separation of church and state.
“I was outraged when I learned that Lori, one of our members, was experiencing such obvious religious harassment from her employers and was being road-blocked by local and state unions professed to be advocates for educators,” said Finn Laursen, Executive Director of Christian Educators Association International. “We encouraged Lori to move forward with a grievance and had First Amendment attorneys waiting in the wings should litigation be needed.”
On April 14, Lori Miller received a first level grievance hearing in which her right to have a Bible on her desk was affirmed “for the present time.”
On April 16, many of students brought their Bibles to school as an exercise of their religious freedom and as a show of support for their former teacher, John Freshwater, who is still fighting to get his job back.
“The lesson here is clear. It is imperative that Christian educators, students, and parents remain willing to step forward to insist on the rights our forefathers guaranteed for future generations in the First Amendment of our Constitution,” said Laursen.
Contact: Finn Laursen (CEAI)
P.O. Box 45610 Westlake, OH 44145 http://www.ceai.org
Christian Educators Association International