Raleigh, NC -- A measure introduced at the North Carolina legislature would allow the state's public high schools to offer Bible study.
The bill by Sen. Stan Bingham on Tuesday would allow local school boards to offer students elective courses for credit on the Old Testament, the New Testament or a combination of the two.
No student would be required to take the courses, but the courses would provide academic credit toward graduation.
Similar religious courses offered in taxpayer-supported schools in other parts of the country have raised concerns among civil libertarians about the Constitutional separation of church and state.
The Davidson Republican did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. A dozen lawmakers in the GOP-controlled Senate have already signed on as co-sponsors to Bingham's bill, including three Democrats.
The ACLU says they're concerned about the separation of church and state.
"Classes that teach the Bible have to be conducted in a way that does not promote or disparage religion, or alienate students with different beliefs," said Sarah Preston, policy director of the ACLU of North Carolina. "But because religious belief is such a personal issue, we believe it's a topic best left to the student's parents, and not government bureaucrats or school officials."