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Texas School District Adopts Bible-Based Elective Program

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A school board in Odessa, Texas, has approved a curriculum for an elective course that uses the Bible as its main textbook, a decision opponents fear invites proselytizing and snubs non-Protestant students.

Saying it had overwhelming community support, the board of the Ector County Independent School District voted 4-2 on Dec. 19 to adopt the curriculum offered by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools.

The curriculum uses the King James version of the Bible as its textbook. The other choice before the school board, offered by the Bible Literacy Project, uses the text The Bible and Its Influence and includes broader discussions of other faiths.

The vote drew a standing-room-only crowd of more than 200. The Bible-study class will be offered in the 25,000-student district’s three high schools beginning next fall.

Carol Gregg, a board member who endorsed the Bible Literacy Project, said she was worried that the National Council on Bible Curriculum’s course would exclude students who are not Protestant. But Doyle Woodall, who voted for the council’s curriculum, said the decision reflects the wishes of most residents.

Eight of 12 people who addressed the board favored the more conservative curriculum.

Vol. 25, Issue 16, Page 5

Published in Print: January 4, 2006, as Texas School District Adopts Bible-Based Elective Program

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