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Published On: Tue, Oct 7th, 2014

Atheist group threatens North Carolina school over optional Bible classes

A prominent atheist activist organization, the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is pressing to end optional Bible classes as North Carolina elementary schools.

The letter to Rowan-Salisbury School System officials alludes to a complaint from an unidentified individual who took issue with the Bible being taught to children in public school. ‘

photo Imagens Evangélicas via Flickr

photo Imagens Evangélicas via Flickr

According to reports, the 45-minute classes are being held at Cleveland, Woodleaf and Mount Ulla Elementary Schools and parents may opt their children out of the instruction if they wish.

FRF says that it was informed that one class “presented the Bible as literal fact, including teaching a seven-day creation, giving students examples of ‘God’s plan’ that ‘clearly’ showed the universe was created with a purpose, and supposed examples of the Bible predicting scientific discoveries.”

“These classes are flagrantly unconstitutional,” the letter, written by attorney Patrick Elliott. states. “Presenting the text of the Bible as true in a public school violates a host of Supreme Court cases.” They assert the classes are wrong even though parents may opt out their children.

“It is irrelevant that parents may excuse students from the elementary Bible classes,” the letter continued. “Suggesting that children who do not wish to be subjected to religious activity at their school should be segregated from their classmates is reprehensible. … It makes no difference if some parents would like the Rowan-Salisbury School system to teach the Bible as fact to its students.”

Elliott asked that district officials put an end to all elementary school Bible classes, and also investigate religious studies in the upper grade levels.

“The district must take the necessary corrective action to ensure that the Bible is only studied by mature students for academic purposes, in classes taught by teachers with no religious bias, using objective course materials,” he wrote.

The district says that it is looking into the matter, but has declined to comment at this time.

“The Bible stories that they teach children when they’re younger, to me, teaches them to be better people—how to treat people better,” parent Tammy Jenkins told WSOC-TV, noting that her children didn’t have the option to study the Bible when they attended Landis Elementary.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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