Oklahoma Public Schools Ordered To Teach Bible In Classrooms

Public schools in Oklahoma will soon be teaching the Bible, thanks to a new state requirement that classifies it as a foundational historical text.

Superintendent Ryan Walters announced Thursday during a meeting of the state’s Board of Education that every public school teacher will soon be required to have a Bible in their classroom.

Although the First Amendment forbids government entities from favoring one religion over others, Walters claims he based his decision on a state statute regarding historical documents, and noted the Bible is a document that has some significance to the foundation of America, according to Tulsa CBS affiliate KOTV.

“The Bible is an indispensable historical and cultural touchstone,” Walters said. “Without basic knowledge of it, Oklahoma students are unable to properly contextualize the foundation of our nation which is why Oklahoma educational standards provide for its instruction. This is not merely an educational directive but a crucial step in ensuring our students grasp the core values and historical context of our country.”

In his memo, Walters ordered teachers to incorporate the Bible into lessons for “specified grade levels,” using grades 5 through 12 as an example.

The missive comes 10 days after Louisiana became the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom. The ACLU said is challenging the rule in court.

HuffPost reached out to the Oklahoma Board of Education to see if historical documents from other religions will also be required in classes, but no one immediately responded.

After the memo went out, Walters responded to backlash online and elsewhere, writing, “The left is upset, but one cannot rewrite history.”

You can read Walters’ memo below.

As often happens when officials make decisions that seem to contradict the Constitution, people had thoughts.