New House bill would require religion courses in public high schools

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By: Elizabeth Pace | Action News Jax
January 11, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (ANJ) - Florida Rep. Kim Daniels filed House Bill 195, The Study of the Bible and Religion, Wednesday. It would require school districts to offer courses related to religion as an elective for high school students.

The bill states, “An objective study of the Bible, including, but not limited to, a course on the Hebrew Scriptures and Old Testament of the Bible; a course on the New Testament of the Bible; and a course on the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament of the Bible, and the New Testament of the Bible. A student may not be required to use a specific translation of the Hebrew Scriptures or Bible as the sole text for the course.”

It continues to state this would be offered as an elective courses, along with guideline and requirements, for grades 9-12.

“I think a lot of our problems with the youth today, the crime, the attitudes of children stopped when we took prayer out of the school,” grandparent Dawna Burtnett said. “I’m a true believer.”

Action News Jax first reported Monday how the Duval County School Board voted to make Religious Expression an official school policy under the state requirement.

Nearly two years ago, Senate Bill 436, Religious Expression in Public School was passed during the legislative session.

While some parents argued religion should be kept out of public schools, others want the option for their students.

“I would rather that the students can have the opportunity to have whatever courses they want to take so they can shape their own futures in whatever way they see fit, with the guidance of parents of course,” parent David Stackhouse said.

Action News Jax reached out to Duval, St. Johns and Clay County public school districts for a comment about this proposed bill and is waiting to hear back.

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