Florida high schools could be required to offer elective Bible course


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Legislation to require all Florida public high schools to offer elective courses on the study of the Bible has been approved by a state House committee.

The bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Kimberly Daniels of Jacksonville cleared a House Education panel Thursday on an 11-3 vote. Daniels said the intent was not to teach a specific religion in school but rather to emphasize the Bible's role in history, culture and the founding of the U.S. government.

Opponents raised concerns that such Bible classes might be subject to lawsuits over the constitutional separation of church and state. Others said the course should also teach holy books from other religions, such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Daniels said 10 other states currently offer similar Bible courses in public schools.