- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 17, 2019

A Democratic Florida lawmaker has submitted a bill requiring Bible and religion classes to be offered in all Florida schools.

State Rep. Kim Daniels of Jacksonville filed the bill that would require Florida high school districts — including public schools — to offer “religion, Hebrew scriptures and the Bible to certain students as elective courses.”

Under the bill, the schools would be required to offer the religious courses, but the students would still have the option not to register for them.

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While the bill would teach about the Bible’s Old and New Testament, the bill says that the optional course “may not endorse, favor, or promote or disfavor or show hostility toward a particular religion, religious perspective, or nonreligious faith.”

House Bill 341 was filed last Friday for the 2020 legislative session. If it were to pass, it would be enacted on July 1, 2020. Ms. Daniels submitted a similar bill in this year’s 2019 session, but it never made it out of the subcommittee phase and thus wasn’t enacted as law.

Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia have all introduced similar legislation.

While advocates — including President Trump — have sung praises for the classes, critics such as the American Civil Liberties Union have slammed the bills for jeopardizing “the separation of church and state.”

Ms. Daniels successfully submitted a bill in 2018 requiring all schools and other government buildings to display the motto “In God we trust,” citing the Parkland school shooting — where 17 people were fatally shot in 2018 — as a place that needed God’s “light.”

“Our schools need light in them like never before,” she said, according to WCNC.

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