The Mustang School Board approved to send a Bible history course through its new curriculum process and the course may be offered as an elective as early as next school year.
Steve Green, president and CEO of Hobby Lobby, visited the school board in November to tell them of a new curriculum that he is working on that teaches the history of the Bible. He and his family own over 40,000 Bibles and he now oversees The Green Collection, which has grown to be the world’s largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts. He is also working on building a national, nonsectarian Bible museum in Washington D.C. to house the collection.
"We have a list of universities that we are working with today all over the world," Green told the board at the November meeting. "We want to find the leading scholars to help us and we will be pulling from this group to help write this curriculum and it will tie to the three parts we want to teach. With the history, we want to show the archeological evidences of the Bible and then we want to show the impact of the Bible. Thirdly, is the story, meaning, what does the book say."
At Monday’s board meeting, Superintendent Sean McDaniel said the course will go through a new curriculum process and will continue to do so if the board chooses.
"There is a timeline of how a new course goes through this process," McDaniel said. "The first step is an annual internal audit and secondly teachers or principals make a request of new courses. The third step is a curriculum committee that looks to see if these courses would add value, benefit the kids or have any interest. The fourth step is where we are at now, and that is the board receiving the proposed new courses for an approved list."
McDaniel said approval of the list of new courses was not the final step.
"The next step would be to add these new courses to a pre-enrollment packet that would be sent out to students and parents and it would be like a survey to see where the most interest is," he said. "We would identify teachers for the course and then the courses would go to a textbook adoption committee."
McDaniel said board members would have a chance to review textbooks and all other materials related to the new courses before they would ever make their way into a classroom.
"I just want to make sure you understand that we will bring the curriculum back to you to look at," he said. "We would give you about a week to look at it and have all the materials in a meeting room and you can come buy whenever your schedule allows."
Board member Jeff Landrith asked if the public would be allowed to review the materials.
"I am not sure if we would have the time to do that," McDaniel said. "As board members elected by the public, I would think that you would be representing them and making decisions based on that. We will do our best to answer any questions though the public might have."
Board member Chad Fulton said he had already met with the Mustang Ministerial Alliance, a group including all the churches in the area, about the proposed new course.
McDaniel said he expects the school board to make a final decision on the new course at their April meeting.
"If it is not approved by then, we will probably have to wait another year to have it available," he said. "But if we have it approved in April we will have it ready for the next school year."
Landrith said he received several calls over the last month regarding the new Bible history course.
"I would say that 99 percent of them supported it," Landrith said.