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Oklahoma's state superintendent requires public schools to teach the Bible and the Ten Commandments

"It is crucial that our students understand what has made America great," explained the head of public education in the state.

Bible(Wikimedia Commons- NYC Wanderer / Kevin Eng)

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Beginning in the 2025 school year, all Oklahoma public schools will be required to integrate the Bible and the Ten Commandments into the 5th through 10th grade curriculum.  This decision was announced by Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters.

On Thursday Walters sent a memo to superintendents across the state, informing them that incorporating the Bible into the school curriculum is aligned with educational standards, and that the implementation of this new measure would serve as a reminder of the influence these sacred texts have had on the country's history.

The Bible is "one of the most foundational documents used for the Constitution and the birth of our country" explained Walters, adding that teaching these scriptures is necessary for children to know the history of the United States and have a "complete understanding of Western civilization, to have an understanding of the basis of our legal system."

Anticipating controversy, Walters clarified that lessons that include the Bible will focus exclusively on its historical context and not its religious content. 

Classroom implementation

The directive states that every classroom in Oklahoma must have a copy of the Bible, which will be used to teach relevant historical aspects.  Educators should highlight the biblical influence on key events, such as the Mayflower Compact and biblical references made by leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, including Martin Luther King Jr.

The memo also stated that the State Department of Education will provide the necessary instructional materials to ensure uniform implementation of this directive.  Superintendents will be instructed on how to monitor and report compliance with this new education policy.

"We have seen radical leftists remove God and the Bible from schools.  It is crucial that our students understand what has made America great.  Not teaching our children about the faith of our founders and the influence the Bible had on our history is simply academic neglect," Walters said.

Another similar initiative

Although Oklahoma is the first state to require the use of the Bible in public education, Louisiana has also taken similar steps.

Recently, Louisiana required the display of the Ten Commandments in all classrooms by 2025.  The legislation, known as HB 71, was signed last week by Louisiana's Republican governor, Jeff Landry.  Like in Oklahoma, the measure is focused on promoting historical rather than religious values.