A school board in Delaware has reached a stalemate regarding approval for an elective bible class to be offered at the local high school.
Members of the Cape Henlopen Board of Education split in a vote Thursday night to approve the elective bible class for Cape Henlopen High School, a course designed by the Bible Literacy Project, which seeks to teach the bible to students in a secular way, focusing on the Holy Book's influence on "culture, art, and academics."
Proponents of the elective class argue that it would educate non-religious students on the influence the bible has had in culture and the forming of the United States, while opponents argue that the bible elective course straddles a fine line regarding the separation of church and state.
Although the community's curriculum board has reportedly determined that it would be legal for the local high school to host the class, board members have been unable to reach a final vote on the matter.
Superintendent Robert Fulton, however, has recommended that the class not be approved.
The main concern of the board members is reportedly who will teach the class, as the members are undecided whether a person of faith or a non-religious person would be more responsible in objectively communicating the Holy Book.
Those supporting the elective class argue that it is important to teach students about the bible, and the curriculum offered by the Bible Literacy Project serves as a safe, objective way to inform the students without violating constitutional laws regarding the separation of church and state.
"I've heard from people whose kids are not growing up in a religious environment. They're lacking the understanding of what the Bible is and how it's influenced our country," Cape Henlopen School Board member Sandi Minard, who introduced the idea for the course on behalf of a group of parents, told Delaware Online.
Those against the elective course argue that it is unnecessary to bring the teaching of any religious text into a public school setting.
"To me, attempting to teach 'bible literacy,' whatever that actually means, in public school classrooms, outside of houses of worship, is outlandish as […] well, a talking snake – out of context," Roni Posner, the board's vice president, said.
According to the Associated Press, one board member was absent from Thursday's vote, and school board president Spencer Brittingham has said he will consider putting the elective up for vote again on the next board meeting's agenda.