West Virginia state legislators introduced a bill that would require the state’s schools to offer an elective course on Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, or the New Testament in the Bible.
State Sens. Mike Azinger (R-Wood) and Sue Cline (R-Wyoming) submitted Senate Bill 252 to the West Virginia Senate Thursday for consideration, WOWK reported.
The text of the bill states that the course would “teach students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy.”
It would also require the schools to follow federal and state laws on “religious neutrality,” meaning that they must accommodate students’ diverse religious views.
The course also cannot “endorse, favor, disfavor, or show hostility toward” any particular religion or faith, according to federal law.
If the bill becomes law, the Bible electives would be made available at all grade levels.
Some schools in the state already offer these electives, although not everybody is happy about them.
A West Virginia mother sued her child’s school district in 2017 for its 75-year practice of providing Bible classes to students, alleging that her child was being forced to take the classes.