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Virginia lawmakers consider a high school elective Bible class

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(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia lawmakers are considering a bill that would require high schools to offer an elective that would teach students about the Bible. 

Virginia Senator Charles W. Carrico, Sr., who is a Republican, introduced the bill. 

The bill would require public schools to offer electives on the Hebrew scriptures/Old Testament, the New Testament, or both, for 9th to 12th graders. 

The Board of Education would have to develop Standards of Learning and curriculum guidelines. 

The intention of the courses, as outlined in the bill, is to introduce students to biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy.

The bill prohibits students from being required to use a specific translation of a religious text when taking the courses and states that the courses will maintain religious neutrality.