- The Washington Times - Monday, April 24, 2006

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia last week became what is thought to be the first state to offer government-sanctioned elective classes on the Bible.

The Bible is incorporated into classes in Georgia and other states, and some local school districts have passed measures permitting classes devoted solely to the Bible. But education analysts say the law in Georgia is the first state government endorsement of such courses.

Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican, signed a bill Thursday permitting the classes. The same day he also signed a bill permitting the display of the Ten Commandments at courthouses. Both bills passed the state legislature by comfortable margins.

The new law allows elective classes on the Bible to be taught to high school students. Local school systems will decide whether to teach the courses.

The state Education Department has until February to craft curricula. The law requires that the courses be taught “in an objective and nondevotional manner with no attempt made to indoctrinate students.”

The state’s new Ten Commandments law was prompted by a dispute over the posting of the commandments at the Barrow County Courthouse.

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