Oklahoma State Superintendent Orders Bible Be Taught in Schools

Victoria Albert:

The Bible and Ten Commandments are cornerstones of Western civilization, Ryan Walters, Oklahoma’s state superintendent of public instruction, said in a memorandum. He said the decision was effective immediately.

“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,” Walters, a Republican who was elected to the role in 2022, said in the memorandum. He noted the “substantial influence” that the Bible and Ten Commandments had on the country’s founders and the constitution.

Rachel Laser, president and chief executive of the nonprofit group Americans United for Separation of Church and State, called the decision a “transparent, unconstitutional effort to indoctrinate and religiously coerce public school students.”

“This is textbook Christian Nationalism: Walters is abusing the power of his public office to impose his religious beliefs on everyone else’s children,” Laser said in a statement.

The Oklahoma Education Association also criticized the decision, saying the order violates a state Supreme Court decision that gave school districts the right to choose which books were available in their classrooms.