The Tennessee state board of education has approved guidelines on how to teach the Bible in public high schools, despite concern that the curriculum could be challenged in court.
Legislation approved in 2008 authorizes a course for a “nonsectarian, nonreligious academic study of the Bible” in public schools. State officials said they tried to establish principles that are safe from legal challenge, but some say a state-approved Bible course could violate the separation of church and state.
The course will teach students about the content of the Bible and its historical context. It is an elective, meaning high schools can choose whether to offer it to students as a social studies credit, and students can decide whether to take it.
A version of this article appeared in the February 10, 2010 edition of Education Week as Tennessee State Board Approves Guidelines on Teaching Bible