Morgan County Schools is considering a partnership with Piedmont International University, a North Carolina Christian college, in order to provide dual enrollment opportunities for high school juniors and seniors in the school district.
In Alabama last spring, a law was passed to allow teaching of the Bible from a historical perspective, in public schools, to sixth through 12th graders.
Recently, Morgan County Schools’ five district high schools posted notice of a meeting on their Facebook pages. On Tuesday, an information session took place, explaining information regarding the PIU online course, “Survey of the Bible.”
On Wednesday, a letter was received by the school district from Ryan Jayne, an attorney for the religious watchdog group Freedom From Religion Foundation, “strongly urging” Morgan County Schools to cancel its planned Bible class with PIU.
“The decision to partner with a private, out-of-state Christian bible college is alarming,” FFRF’s Jayne wrote. “PIU professors are experts in training Christian ministers, not teaching secular history.”
After seeing FFRF’s letter, Piedmont President Charles Petitt said, “We are guilty as charged of believing the Bible, believing the parts that are literal should be taken that way.” But also, he said, that the parts that are figurative are figurative.
In a statement provided to al.com, Morgan County Superintendent Bill Hopkins wrote, “We are still gauging interest in the class as we investigate the legalization and implementation. At this point everything is just informational and no students have been enrolled.”