Local News

Florida Bible Curriculum Developed in Greensboro

Posted October 22, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A Florida school system says it will do what it thinks is right, even if the battle between church and state lands it in court. Their transgression is a Bible class, which includes the new Testament in its subject matter.

With some preaching scripture, others preaching the constitution, and some doing both, the fight is on. One Florida school district has adopted what's known as the "North Carolina Curriculum". It's a Bible Studies curriculum that was developed in Greensboro that teaches students about both the Bible and its place in history. You may be surprised to find there are similar courses in schools all across our state.

Vinetta Bell is an English teacher at Enloe High School who helped write Wake County's curriculum for two specialized courses -- "The Bible in History" and "Religions in World Culture".

Assistant School Superintendent Sue King says Wake County's courses teach the Bible in a historical context and educate students about all major religions.

It's not just being taught in Wake County. Several school districts across North Carolina include the Bible when teaching religion, history, and literature. Deborah Ross is with the American Civil Liberties Union. She says what the ACLU opposes is the teaching of religious doctrine or belief. She says it has no quarrel with teaching the Bible as history.

Wake County school leaders say their teachers are not there to indoctrinate students, but, rather educate them about the role of religion in history. Bell agrees with that statement.

Most of these courses are elective, not mandatory. Parents should get a copy of the curriculum, so you can see what's being taught. As for the curriculum adopted in Florida, the ACLU here says it had no problem with it.

Photographer:Ron Pittman