Bible class rejected by Steamboat schools |

Bible class rejected by Steamboat schools

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – School officials have decided against adding a class titled “The Bible in History and Literature” to Steamboat Springs High School, saying the current curriculum is fine and citing a respect for diversity.”As a small district with limited resources, do we need this course to provide our students with an adequate education?” school board member Denise Connelly asked during a meeting that stretched late into Monday evening. “What we are seeing is that there is overlap.”A curriculum committee said Bible instruction already is offered at the school in geography, civics, American studies, world history and English courses, along with instruction about other religious documents and cultures.The district’s mission statement includes an intent to “respect diversity in all forms” and the proposed class “does not follow that objective,” said Tom Miller-Freutel, president of the board.The proposal came from parents Michelle Diehl and Roger Johnson. The class is designed as a yearlong elective by the North Carolina-based National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools.Joey Melius, a 16-year-old junior, said he favored such a class.”This class would be well worth my time – the Bible is one of the most important documents ever written, from a historian’s point of view,” he said.Opponents said the class would unfairly highlight one religion and cause increased separation among students.”There are subtle feelings of religious intimidation that Jewish students feel in a Christian environment, especially in a small town like Steamboat,” said Jerry Kozatch, who said he spoke for himself and other members of the local Jewish community.Opponents also said ample opportunity exists for religious instruction in homes, at churches or at religious schools.Vail, Colorado

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