pencils_newWritten by Don Byrd

The Tennessee legislature has sent a bill to Governor Bill Haslam that forbids indoctrination when students are learning about religion. It also requires local school districts to establish policies regarding religion in the public school curriculum, and to make public certain course syllabi for grades 6 through 12.

The measure seeks to address concerns raised by parents last year regarding the manner in which Islam was introduced to social studies students in a unit on world civilizations.

The bill provides that:

The inclusion of religion in textbooks, instructional materials, curriculum, or academic standards shall be for educational purposes only and shall not be used to promote or establish any religion or religious belief.

and adds later:

Teacher training institutions shall provide candidates with instruction on what is constitutionally permissible when teaching religious content and strategies for dealing with religious content in curriculum that are educationally sound, fair, neutral, and objective.

The Tennessean has more.

See also the Baptist Joint Committee’s resources on Religion in Public Schools.