Bible electives could come to GA high school classrooms

Bible electives could come to high school classrooms

LEESBURG, GA (WALB) - Georgia public high schools could see bibles on the bookshelf again after lawmakers passed a proposal that would allow schools to offer electives on the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

Not one parent WALB spoke with said they didn’t like the idea of the courses coming to classrooms.

Leaders in one Southwest Georgia school board said it’s important to understand what the elective is all about.

Some people said it’s the book of life, filled with commandments and parables of faith. It could be the book that Georgia high school students study in class.

“I think it’s a good option,” said Perry Benton, a parent.

“I think it’s a great idea and a necessary change that has to be made,” said Tim Parker, another parent.

Lee County Schools Assistant Superintendent Kevin Dowling said it’s not new to the school system, but said if it comes back, it would require some communication.

Kevin Dowling. (Source: WALB)
Kevin Dowling. (Source: WALB)

"Students who are taking the course, the parents that support the students, they also understand what the course is about and what it’s not about and what it will be about and what it can’t be about,” Dowling said.

It is something parents also considered.

“Would there be a particular person hired with a theology background or would it be a literature teacher?,” Arica Barfield, a parent, asked.

Arica Barfield. (Source: WALB)
Arica Barfield. (Source: WALB)

The proposal states that the courses should be taught in an objective and non-devotional manner, not including religious doctrines or encourage a commitment to religious beliefs.

“They would learn the history the culture, the customs of the people at that time and the literature you know its not a course that would serve to do any type of indoctrination,” Dowling said.

Most parents said they want to see it happen.

Perry Benton. (Source: WALB)
Perry Benton. (Source: WALB)

“Everything that we teach about the Bible would be good,” Benton said.

“I just want her to learn the base core of it to be a better person and better kid,” said Parker.

Parents also said there could be more that comes from the teachings.

Tim Parker. (Source: WALB)
Tim Parker. (Source: WALB)

“Religion is important, and I do stand strong and encourage my children to stand strong in their faith,” said Barfield.

The author of the bill said it’s about giving schools options and flexibility.

The bill must go back to the Georgia Senate to consider the House changes.

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