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Bill would add Bible study at NC public schools

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A new bill could allow students to study the Bible in North Carolina schools. No student would be required to take the class. It would be offered as an elective.

The bill would allow students to earn elective credits toward graduation. The course would focus on the Old Testament and the New Testament or a combination of both. The bill filed would allow bible study as an elective in public high schools.

Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-9th District) is a co-sponsor of the bill.

"It's a historic document," Goolsby said. "It's a very important text for our children to study and learn."

Goolsby says we should not deny our kids the opportunity to learn about the Bible if they want to.

We also spoke with New Hanover County School Board Chair Don Hayes. Both men think that the majority of people will support the bill.

"I think it would be a good idea, so that way it would give a choice if you wanted to take it, and it wouldn't offend anybody, because you would be taking what you wanted to take, and they would be taking the option not to take it," Sonya Smith, a supporter of the bill, said.

But not everyone agrees. Similar religious courses offered in public schools around the country have been a cause of concern. Many people think there should be a separation of church and state.

"The separation of church and state I thoroughly believe in," said Robert Kelly, who's against the bill. "There's way too much religious influence in our society today."

Kelly said sometimes a good thing can be a bad thing.

If the bill passes, school systems will have the option to implement the course or not. As for those who still have concerns, a dozen lawmakers in the GOP controlled Senate have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, including three Democrats.

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