2016 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 70. Schools
§70-11-103.11. Elective course offering on Old and New Testament.
A. A school district may offer to students in grade nine or above:
1. An elective course on the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and its impact and an elective course on the New Testament and its impact; or
2. An elective course that combines the courses described in paragraph 1 of this subsection.
B. The purposes of courses authorized by this section are to:
1. Teach students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy; and
2. Familiarize students with, as applicable:
a.the contents of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament,
b.the history of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament,
c.the literary style and structure of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament, and
d.the influence of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament on law, history, government, literature, art, music, customs, morals, values, and culture.
C. The Bible shall be the primary text of the course and may be supplemented with additional resources. The primary text for the course will be a parallel translation Bible or multi-translation Bible that uses more than one translation for side-by-side comparison chosen by the school district. However, a student may not be required to use a specific translation as the sole text of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament and may use as the basic textbook a different translation of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament from that chosen by the district board of education or the student’s teacher.
D. A course offered pursuant to this section shall follow applicable law and all federal and state guidelines in maintaining religious neutrality and accommodating the diverse religious views, traditions, and perspectives of students in the school district. A course offered pursuant to this section shall not endorse, favor, or promote, or disfavor or show hostility toward, any particular religion or nonreligious faith or religious perspective. Nothing in this section is intended to violate any provision of the United States Constitution or federal law, the Oklahoma Constitution or any state law, or any rules or guidelines provided by the United States Department of Education or the State Department of Education.
E. A teacher of a course offered pursuant to this section must be certified to teach social studies or literature.
Added by Laws 2010, c. 227, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2010.
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