ACLU of Texas Announces Bible Curriculum "Know Your Rights" FAQ Sheet
Organization Urges Protection of Religious Freedoms
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUSTIN – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas today issued a new “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) sheet that is intended to help parents and students understand their rights with respect to religion in Texas public school curricula.
“Know Your Rights: The Bible in Texas Public Schools,” is being released specifically in response to concerns about the implementation of H.B. 1287, which was adopted by the Texas Legislature in 2007 and went into effect on September 1, 2009. The Attorney General has interpreted the law to require Texas public schools to include information about the Bible’s impact on history and literature in their curricula. The law authorizes, but does not require, school districts to offer a stand-alone elective Bible course.
“Public schools can teach about the Bible and other religious texts in an objective, academic way,” said Lisa Graybill, Legal Director, “but all too often Bible courses, including some commercially-available curricula, stray across the line into religious indoctrination.”
“Like many school districts, we are very concerned about how this law can be constitutionally implemented in the absence of funding for adequate teacher training and rigorous curriculum standards from the State Board of Education,” said Fleming Terrell, ACLU of Texas Staff Attorney.
This FAQ sheet is part of the ACLU of Texas’ “Faith and Religious Liberty in Texas Communities” campaign, which seeks educate and empower Texans to protect religious freedom in their communities.
See it online at www.aclutx.org.
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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
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The ACLU strives to safeguard the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty by ensuring that laws and governmental practices neither promote religion nor interfere with its free exercise.