New bill would require bible classes in Florida public schools

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(WBBH)  A newly proposed bill would make Bible courses a requirement in public schools in the state of Florida. Current state law says it’s okay to offer Bible classes, but it’s not a requirement.

House Bill 341, if passed, would give students a chance to learn about the New Testament and Old Testament in the Bible.

While it doesn’t require students to take the class, it is stirring up a strong debate on both sides of the issue.

“I personally feel like a large majority of students wouldn’t care about the class,” said Adriane Santori.

Caroline Holtz is a collegiate high school student and doesn’t agree with the bill.

“I ask them, are they going to teach the Torah, the Quran and all the other stuff, because separation of church and state,” said Holtz.

Caeley Wilson, a high school student, believes the classes would do more good than harm.

“Don’t shut something out that you haven’t tried,” said Caeley Wilson. “It opens up friendships and opens up your mind pretty much.”

Another big concern, even for those who support this idea, is what version of the Bible would be taught in public schools. The bill notes students wouldn’t be required to use a specific translation of the Bible.

“As a Christian I feel that is wrong unless you’re going to teach everyone about every religion,” Angel Muse said.

Others label the bill as a vague attempt of bible study in public schools.

“Sort of forcing people to be carrying around a bible in school and have to bring it out during school to learn about Christian specific teachings could be a violation of student’s rights,” said student Jake Welling.

The bill was introduced by a Jacksonville democrat who is a Christian evangelist she introduced the bill last year but it didn’t go anywhere.

Southwest Florida lawmakers say they want more time to study the bill if it does pass it would go into effect in July 2020.

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