Oklahoma schools now required to teach Bible, Ten Commandments

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Oklahoma schools now required to teach Bible, Ten Commandments

All public schools in Oklahoma are now required to incorporate the Bible and Ten Commandments into their curricula for grades 5-10, primarily for historical context.

Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters issued a memo Thursday informing superintendents across the state their districts are required to incorporate the Bible into lessons.

Walters said in the memo that his directive aligns with educational standards approved in May 2019.

The superintendent told Fox News Digital there is a lack of understanding about the country’s history and the influence the Bible has had since the birth of the U.S., which he blames on the radical left.

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Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters announced Thursday that all schools across the state will be required to teach from the Bible for grades 5-12, beginning immediately. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

“We’ve seen the radical leftists drive God out of schools, drive the Bible out of schools, and we have to make sure that our kids have an understanding of what made America great,” said Walters.

“Not teaching our kids about the faith of our founders and the influence that the Bible had in our history is just academic malpractice.”

He explained that, under his directive, instructors in every classroom across the state would have a copy of the Bible to teach from.

The teachers, Walters said, will teach the Bible from a historical context, particularly in terms of its role in American history and the influence it had on the country’s founders.

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Bible being read, hands shown

Public school teachers in Oklahoma will be required to teach from the Bible to help understand the historical context of the country’s beginnings. (iStock)

For example, when students learn about topics such as the Mayflower Compact, which predates the U.S., they will look at quotes from pilgrims referencing the Bible.

Leaders during the Civil Rights Movement also made references to the Bible.

Walters said when Martin Luther King Jr. was in a Birmingham jail, he wrote a letter referencing Bible stories.

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MLK

A police mugshot of Martin Luther King Jr. after his arrest for protests in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963, where he wrote a letter referencing Bible stories. (Gado/Getty Images)

“So, it is essential for a historical understanding of our country’s history that the Bible is included in the curriculum, and we will be requiring it,” Walters said.

Although Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry signed a bill into law last week requiring the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every classroom by 2025, Walters says Oklahoma is the first to require the Bible be used in all classrooms, effective immediately.

“We’re the first ones, and we’re very proud of that,” he said. “We believe in American values. We believe that the better our students understand American history and American exceptionalism, the better off our state will be and the country will be. So, we are very proud to teach that to our students.”

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STUDENT WRITING IN CLASS

High school students in Oklahoma will be taught history lessons about the Bible. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

For those who are not religious, Walters wanted to be clear that lessons that include the Bible are strictly for historical context.

He said it is undeniable that the Bible is a historical document.

“The left can be offended, that’s fine,” Walters said. “They can be offended all they want, but what they can’t do is rewrite history. That is our history. That is the history of this country.”

In his memo Thursday, Walters said the move to incorporate the Bible was not just an educational directive “but a crucial step in ensuring our students grasp the core values and historical context of our country.”

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He also said the State Department of Education may supply teaching materials to ensure the message is delivered uniformly.

The new curriculum will go into effect for the 2024-25 school year, and superintendents across the state were told instructions for monitoring and reporting on the matter will be delivered in the future.

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