State superintendent orders schools to teach Bible in grades 5 through 12

By Around the Web

(NEWSDAY) – Oklahoma’s top education official ordered public schools Thursday to incorporate the Bible into lessons for grades 5 through 12, the latest effort by conservatives to incorporate religion into classrooms.

The directive drew immediate condemnation from civil rights groups and supporters of the separation of church and state, with some calling it an abuse of power and a violation of the U.S. Constitution. The order sent to districts across the state by Republican State Superintendent Ryan Walters says adherence to the mandate is compulsory and “immediate and strict compliance is expected.”

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“The Bible is an indispensable historical and cultural touchstone,” Walters said in a statement. “Without basic knowledge of it, Oklahoma students are unable to properly contextualize the foundation of our nation which is why Oklahoma educational standards provide for its instruction.”

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