Kentucky Revised Statutes Title XIII. Education § 156.162. Elective course on religious scripture;  purpose;  restrictions;  inclusion of course standards in program of studies

(1)  Pursuant to KRS 156.160 , the Kentucky Board of Education shall promulgate administrative regulations to establish the courses of study for the different grades.  The administrative regulation that sets forth the required and elective courses for the schools shall include:

(a) An elective social studies course on the Hebrew Scriptures, Old Testament of the Bible;

(b) An elective social studies course on the New Testament of the Bible;  or

(c) An elective social studies course on the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament of the Bible.

(2)  The purpose of a course under this section is to:

(a) Teach students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy;  and

(b) Familiarize students with, as applicable:

1. The contents of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament;

2. The history of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament;

3. The literary style and structure of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament;  and

4. The influence of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament on law, history, government, literature, art, music, customs, morals, values, and culture.

(3)  A student shall not be required to use a specific translation as the sole text of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament and may use as the basic textbook a different translation of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament from that chosen by the school council.

(4)  The Kentucky Department of Education shall include the course standards in the program of studies for Kentucky schools, including the teacher qualifications and required professional development.

(5)  A course offered under this section shall follow applicable law and all federal and state guidelines in maintaining religious neutrality and accommodating the diverse religious views, traditions, and perspectives of students in the school.  A course under this section shall not endorse, favor, or promote, or disfavor or show hostility toward, any particular religion or nonreligious faith or religious perspective.  The Kentucky Board of Education, in complying with this section, shall not violate any provision of the United States Constitution or federal law, the Kentucky Constitution or any state law, or any administrative regulations of the United States Department of Education or the Kentucky Department of Education.


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