Should Bible Be Offered As a Course In Public Schools?


Gabby Hanson, Staff Writer/Media Producer

Is religion taught in school constitutional? 

Controversy has sparked with a debate as old as time. Many schools across the country are integrating religion into their curriculums as courses offered in many public schools, but should it be allowed?

Many people argue that the Bible should not be taught in public schools because it is thought to be unconstitutional and goes against the First Amendment which states the practice of religion should remain separate from the state and where a school is a state building; some believe it should still apply. 

Personally, I believe that a Bible class should be allowed because no student would be mandated to take it; it would be an option as an elective or history credit (whichever credit it applies to). You don’t want to learn about the Bible and what Christians believe, you don’t take the class. Simple as that.

There are loopholes, though. The Constitution states that the practice of religion in state entities is prohibited; it does not state that it cannot be taught. According to Robert L. Simonds, PH.D, a contributor for the Institution for Creation Research, “The Supreme Court clearly affirmed this position in Stone vs. Graham, when it stated that ‘the Bible may constitutionally be used in an appropriate study of history, civilization, ethics, comparative religion, or the like.”[1]

The Bible is a written testament that follows people through time, documenting not only the spiritual and supernatural parts of history that we as Christians believe have happened but the history from the beginning of creation up until when Jesus was crucified on the cross and then as we believe, resurrected. Whether you are a person of faith or not, there are many important parts of history that can be taught from the Bible while also providing moral guidance if you’re receptive.

Simonds adds, “As one possessing a Masters degree in history, I can tell you that no qualified historian would dispute the simple fact that the Bible is not only a great documented history book of man’s beginnings, right up to the modern era, but it is the ONLY documented ancient history account available to mankind on much of that long 4,000 year period B.C. (before Christ). The Bible is not only “appropriate,” but necessary for students to have a complete historical picture of mankind.” 

I believe that Bible should be brought to Carolina Forest as an optional course for students. I think it is a great way for students to dive into an oftentimes overlooked part of history while also deepening or even creating a spark for their faith. According to Ashley Daniels, a writer for Grand Strand Magazine, the curriculum is already in Horry County Public Schools and is offered at many schools including Myrtle Beach High School, Socastee High School, St. James High School, along with their accompanying middle schools as of 2016.  Therefore, bringing it to Carolina Forest should not be a problem.

In Daniels’ article from August 2016, she quoted a student enrolled in a Bible course in HCS in her article.

“The program was unbelievable,” says Tiffany. ‘If I didn’t take that class, I don’t know how my faith would be today. I know God was already working through me in the eighth grade. … I felt better about myself and started really enjoying going to school.”

I asked fellow students and staff around The Forest for their opinions on the course being offered;

CF science teacher, Aundrea Rue, commented, “Another high school in the district offers an elective course on the Bible, and I think it’s a great idea, as long as it is presented in an accurate and balanced way.  There are a lot of groups out there that would misrepresent Biblical passages to sow discord.  But, if the class was taught from the perspective of God being a loving and patient Father who would go to the most extreme lengths (sacrificing Himself) to save His children but also disciplines those children to teach them right from wrong, then I am all for it.” 

CF student, Ethan Hillman, added, “It should definitely be at least offered, just as more religious studies classes. It will help more kids become aware of different religions and allow them to make their own personal choices and those who choose to take the Bible classes would be given opportunities through school that they might not get anywhere else.”

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal beliefs and choices. I think our schools should include varied elective courses including Bible, allowing students to find a part of themselves in their studies.