Proposed bill allows public high schools to offer courses on biblical literature
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Just like any other elective course you take in school, State Rep. Valarie Hodges (R) wants public high schools to offer classes on the Bible.
“The Bible is the most published book in world history. There are over 3,050 references in Shakespeare to the Bible,” said Rep. Hodges.
Students would not be required to take the course. But if they decide to try it out, there would be a variety of different views offered. No particular translation of the bible will be required either.
“It has the neutrality that it’s not teaching a certain religion or against a religion. It’s not about that, it’s about the cultural value of literature and history,” Rep. Hodges added.
The course also would not favor or disfavor any particular religion or non-religious perspective.
“That was a safeguard that I wanted to put in there that you can’t be prejudiced one way or the other, and I think that’s very important to the bill,” Rep. Hodges explained.
“Obviously the Bible is part of history and much of what we teach already in history does contain some reference to historical and religious aspects,” said Iberville Superintendent Arthur Joffrion.
Joffrion said as long as the course is offered as an elective, he sees it as having value in the schools.
“Obviously there would be no forcing students into taking that course, as you mentioned, it is just an elective,” Joffrion continued.
However one of the concerns he does potentially see coming is how to determine who actually gets to teach the class.
“We have certified PE teachers and foreign language. While required, typically those teachers hold a certification. So, one of the concerns would be if there’s a specific certification that you would expect someone to have. Because obviously, you would want to ensure that whoever is teaching the course has some expertise in that area,” Joffrion continued.
We will see what other lawmakers have to say about the proposal once this gets taken up in the House Education committee in April.
Click here to report a typo.
Copyright 2022 WAFB. All rights reserved.