Texas public schools required to teach Bible this year - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Texas public schools required to teach Bible this year

By Sara Story - email
Posted by Michael Hetrick

WHITEHOUSE, TX (KLTV) - The school year is almost here, and if literature of the Bible is not already offered in your child's school, it will be this fall.

Books are a common sight in classrooms around the nation, but the Bible is one book that is not. Come this fall, a Texas law says all public schools must offer information relating to the Bible in their curriculum.    

"By the end of the year, what they begin to realize is that it is pervasive. You can't get away from it. The kids came back and were like 'It's everywhere,'" said John Keeling, the social studies chair at Whitehouse High School. Whitehouse already offers a Bible elective. "The purpose of a course like this isn't even really to get kids to believe it, per se, it is just to appreciate the profound impact that it has had on our history and on our government."

The law actually passed in 2007, but this will be the first school year it is enforced because the bill says, "The provisions of this act pertaining to a school district do not take effect until the 2009-2010 school year."

This has gained mixed reactions from East Texans.

"I think it is a good thing because a lot of kids don't have that experience, and they already want to take prayer out of school as it is, and you see where our kids are ending up!" said Tyler resident Laura Tucker.

Tyler resident, Havis Tatum, disagrees with Tucker.

"I don't want anybody teaching their religious beliefs to my child unless they want to send their child to my house and let me teach them my religious views," said Tatum. "There is no difference."

School officials said schools have not enforced the law because of confusion over the bill's wording and lack of state funding.

For now, each school district must find a way to fill the requirement before the seats are filled with students.

We would like to know what you think about this story. Click here to leave your comments and read  the contents of Texas House Bill 1287.

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