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The Courts and the NCBCPS


Spokespeople for the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools have claimed repeatedly that the group’s Bible curriculum has never been challenged in the courts. Yet those statements are simply untrue. The curriculum has been challenged twice and in both cases found constitutionally inappropriate for use in public schools.

Ector County, Texas (2008)

In 2007, a group of parents in Odessa, Texas challenged a decision by their local school board to use materials produced by the National Council in area high schools, alleging the materials threatened the religious freedom of students. In March, 2008, the district agreed to a mediated settlement that removed the curriculum from Odessa public schools. Under the settlement agreement, the school district is forbidden from ever again using the NCBCPS curriculum "as its basis [for a Bible course], or any past or future versions of such curriculum."

Read the final mediator-proposed settlement here.You can find more information about the Ector County case from the ACLU’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief.

Lee County, Florida (1997)

In 1997, concerned parents in Florida went to court to oppose a local school board's adoption of the National Council's biased course materials. The board had adopted the materials for two courses, one on the “Old Testament” and one on the “New Testament.” In Gibson v. Lee County School Board, 1 F. Supp. 2d 1426 (M.D. Fla. 1998), a federal court issued a temporary injunction against use of the “New Testament” curriculum and required strict monitoring of the “Old Testament” course. The school board later replaced both curricula with a nonsectarian, objective Bible course.

You can find more information about the Lee County case from People for the American Way.