Jax State Lawmaker's Public Schools Bible Courses Bill Gets Senate Companion

Nov 5, 2019

An Ocala Senate Republican is following a Jacksonville House Democrat in filing a proposal  that would require high schools to offer elective courses in the study of the Bible and religion.

Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, filed the bill (SB 746) on Monday for consideration during the 2020 legislative session, which starts Jan. 14.

Rep. Kimberly Daniels, D-Jacksonville, filed an identical bill (HB 341) last month in the House.

The bill, in part, would require courses providing an “objective study of the Bible, including, but not limited to, a course on the Hebrew Scriptures and Old Testament of the Bible; a course on the New Testament of the Bible; and a course on the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament of the Bible, and the New Testament of the Bible.”

Also, the bill says courses would be required to follow “all state and federal laws and guidelines in maintaining religious neutrality and accommodating the diverse religious views, traditions, and perspectives of all students in the school.

A course offered pursuant to this section may not endorse, favor, or promote or disfavor or show hostility toward a particular religion, religious perspective, or nonreligious faith.”