A Texas public school district has garnered nationwide attention for adopting a controversial and constitutionally suspect course on the Bible.
In late December, the board of trustees for the Ector County Independent School District voted 4-2 to adopt the course created by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools (NCBCPS).
The NCBCPS, which is supported by an increasing number of powerful Religious Right groups, claims that the curriculum is used in hundreds of school districts nationwide, though it refuses to name those districts. The board also voted about a month before to dump the school district’s sex education course, which included discussion of contraception.
Last summer, the Texas Freedom Network (TFN), an organization that counters the Religious Right, released a study of the course by a scholar at Southern Methodist University. Professor Mark A. Chancey concluded that the NCBCPS course was riddled with shoddy research and promoted religion.
The school board vote came on the same day that a federal district court in Pennsylvania ruled against teaching religion in science classes in Dover, Pa.
TFN officials said that the court ruling is a sign of what may happen in Ector County.
“For those who don’t know how this story will end, the federal judge in the Dover case provided a preview, “said TFN President Kathy Miller.