One West Virginia high school will have volunteer Bible study at the school in the mornings before classes begin.
Officials said Bible study will be held at South Charleston High School after a student there asked about the possibility, WSAZ-TV reported on Tuesday.
“We got an email about having a student-led Bible study (and) … the student came and talked to the principal about it,” said George Aulenbacher, assistant superintendent of high schools in Kanawha County, where South Charleston is located.
Aulenbacher said a faculty sponsor will be named to oversee the student-led group, which students have the option to attend.
— WAFF 48 (@waff48) December 1, 2023
Aulenbacher said guest speakers can attend but must fill out a volunteer form to do so.
“Kids come with a number of different ideas. The principal has the final say-so on the club,” Aulenbacher said. “I think it really varies on the student and the club. They want to start and work with a student to have a faculty sponsor.”
Elliot Namay said he hoped the club would be balanced.
“I think if it is students that want to form their own, that is perfectly fine, and if they want to have outside speakers come in to speak to that group, that is perfectly fine,” Namay said. “They can have a priest, a rabbi come in periodically to speak to those groups as long as it is balanced.”
In a post from the 1990s, he wrote that “no qualified historian would dispute the simple fact that the Bible is not only a great documented history book of man’s beginnings, right up to the modern era, but it is the ONLY documented ancient history account available to mankind on much of that long 4,000 year period B.C. (before Christ).”
“The Bible is not only ‘appropriate,’ but necessary for students to have a complete historical picture of mankind,” Simonds wrote.
“Through much misinformation given to our schools from sincere but often misguided anti-religious organizations, children have been denied the ‘right-to-learn,’ the ‘right-to-know,’ and the ‘right-to-be’ all they could become.
“This unchecked censorship of legitimate knowledge has now become a national issue,” Simonds wrote.
A student from South Charleston High School in West Virginia requested a Bible study club for interested peers.
Officials with Kanawha County Schools have approved the request.
‘More students across our nation need to request this!https://t.co/TijwKxXEwr
— FAITH DΞFΞNDER (@faithdefender) November 30, 2023
According to guidance issued in May by the U.S. Department of Education, under the “Equal Access Act, a public secondary school receiving Federal funds that creates a ‘limited open forum’ may not refuse student religious groups access to that forum.”
“A ‘limited open forum’ exists ‘whenever such school grants an offering to or opportunity for one or more noncurriculum related student groups to meet on school premises during noninstructional time,” the federal guidance says, adding that activities allowed could include “a voluntary and student-initiated prayer service, scripture reading, or other worship exercise.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.