After the launch of a controversial Bible curriculum, which Hobby Lobby President Steve Green spearheaded along with his family, was postponed due to unforeseen events earlier this year, the syllabus has finally been called off by the Oklahoma school district. Secular group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) released a press release on November 25 recognizing the fact that Mustang Public Schools had in fact cancelled all plans of incorporating the Bible course.
In a statement, Jerry Pattengale, editor of the Bible curriculum and executive director of education for Museum of the Bible, confirmed the school district’s move.
“We understand Mustang’s decision to withdraw the new, elective Bible course from consideration,” he said. “Museum of the Bible remains committed to providing an elective high school Bible curriculum and continues work on an innovative, high-tech course that will provide students and teachers with a scholarly overview of the Bible’s history, narrative and impact.”
Displaying no signs of backing down or feeling dissuaded, Pattengale said the Greens would continue to approach other school districts that seemed interested in their controversial curriculum.
FFRF took credit for spearheading the charge against the curriculum earlier this year, clarifying the school district’s final rejection came only after FFRF joined hands with Americans United for Separation of Church and State as well as ACLU of Oklahoma to seek a request for open records so they could acquire information surrounding the planning of the curriculum. FFRF confirmed that school district superintendent Sean McDaniel had written an email to them saying there were no plans of offering the curriculum to students.
“In summary, the topic of a Bible course in the Mustang School District is no longer a discussion item nor is there a plan to provide such a course in the foreseeable future,” the school official reportedly wrote.
McDaniel said the school district had certain non-negotiable prerequisites that the Greens refused to conform to, which is why the curriculum could not move forward. Two of the prerequisites mentioned in his statement suggest the school district would review the course material before it could be introduced to students and the Greens would offer legal coverage to the school district.
“This development is a victory not only for reason and the law, but the sacrosanct right of a captive audience of students to be free from indoctrination in a public school setting,” Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said in the statement.
Reportedly, the curriculum was expected to be introduced at Mustang Public Schools in August this year but the date was changed to January after the school district realized they would need more time to review the course material. Now, however, it has been scrapped completely.
Photo Credits: Baylor University