In a time when schools are running away from anything to do with Christianity, the Chesterfield School Board (or most of them anyway) are not....Diane, Patty, Omar, David and the rest our good solid conservatives and great advocates for the children of Chesterfield. From the Chesterfield Observer:
The Bible will be one of the religious texts taught at three county high schools this fall with the introduction of a new comparative religions course. The course is the first time a religion-based option is being offered in county schools. It will be available as a single-semester elective to students at Cosby, Clover Hill and Matoaca high schools. ....The course offering was prompted by a group of parents and educators who asked the school board last year to consider implementing a Bible-based curriculum. Some members of that same group had previously asked the school system to teach intelligent design as an alternative theory to evolution. ..."Upon hearing requests that certain religious studies be included as part of the division's course offerings, [Superintendent] Dr. Newsome assigned staff members responsible for the development of curriculum the task of considering the addition of religious content courses to the division's academic program," explained Tim Bullis, the school system's director of community relations. "This assignment resulted in the determination that CCPS [Chesterfield County Public Schools] will be offering a comparative religions class as a high school elective beginning this fall. Comparative religions, rather than a Bible course, will be offered because of the system's lack of experience in teaching any type of high school religion course." ...One school board member sees this course as the beginning of a Bible curriculum in county classrooms. "I think this country was founded on religious beliefs, and I feel it's appropriate for our kids to be taught the basic principles that the Bible teaches. I think the comparative religions course is the first step," said Matoaca School Board member Omarh Rajah. ..."There's certain things that the government says you should do, but there's the right, moral thing that has to be done, and the federal government has been wrong many times before…It's time that we restore moral values and principles back to our kids' lives," continued Rajah. ...But Marshall Trammell Jr., Bermuda school board member, is much more cautious on the issue. "This is a prudent step for us, but as a board, we have not discussed moving this forward into a Bible class. Some individual members may want to do that, but as a board, we have not discussed moving in that direction." ...In the past, Trammell has expressed concern over bringing religion to the classroom. "I prefer my religion to be taught at home, church and Sunday school," said Trammell during an interview last week. ...School administrators also remain cautious on whether the comparative religions course might one day be expanded to include a class in just the Bible. "We're open to the possibility," said Dr. Dale Kalkofen, assistant superintendent for instructional support. ..."We haven't ruled out teaching Bible in the future," said Bullis. ...School systems can offer courses in religion, but it's illegal for teachers to prophesize and express their own personal religious beliefs in the classroom. Courses must be taught from a purely academic standpoint and usually mirror similar classes offered at the college level. ...According to Bullis, the comparative religions course being offered will survey "the basic elements and historical developments of world religions. After establishing a common definition of the purpose of religion and ways to study religion, students study Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Other religions are studied as time and interest permit." ...The course will be taught by certified social studies teachers.