ADF to Idaho Public Charter School Commission: Bible is not a banned book
BOISE, Idaho — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a legal memorandum Wednesday with the Idaho Public Charter School Commission on behalf of Nampa Classical Academy, which may have its charter denied by the commission if it goes ahead with its plan to use the Bible as an educational resource. Despite the commission’s objection, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that it is entirely constitutional for the Bible to be studied objectively as an educational resource.
“The Bible shouldn’t be singled out for censorship. Not only is the commission on safe constitutional ground to allow the school to use the Bible as an educational resource, it would be unconstitutional to deny the school the ability to include it as one resource among its many other texts,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman.
Nampa Classical Academy, with plans to open its public charter school with more than 600 students this year, was warned by the Idaho Public Charter School Commission that it may not be able to include the Bible as any part of its curriculum--or its charter could be rejected. The commission will be making its final decision on the issue within the upcoming days.
The ADF legal memorandum to the commission argues the academy’s right to include the Bible as an educational resource and informs the commission of what the Idaho and U.S. constitutions truly require.
“Nampa Classical Academy is endeavoring to exercise its right to provide the best possible education for its students and has decided to include the Bible, along with dozens of other religious and secular writings, as resources in its school curriculum to enrich instruction of literature, history, and culture, among other topics,” the memorandum states. “It is undeniable that the Bible is an invaluable primary source that sheds light on the history and culture of western civilization, literature, etc. and would promote insightful discussions in the classroom and critical thinking among students.... The Commission’s proposal to deny Nampa Classical Academy’s right to use the Bible in its curriculum cannot pass muster under either the Constitution of Idaho or the United States Constitution.”
“The commission has been relying on a misinterpretation of a provision in the Idaho Constitution,” Cortman explained. “That provision does not forbid the Bible from being included as part of a public school’s curriculum. On the contrary, the framers of the state constitution sought assurances that the right of public schools to use the Bible as a teaching tool would be protected.”
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.