Mercer cancels elementary Bible classes, adds optional high school course
Ryan Quinn, Charleston Gazette-Mail
Mercer County’s school board has canceled Bible classes in its public elementary schools next school year, but it’s now adding a new, optional high school Bible course for next school year.
Deborah Akers, superintendent of Mercer’s public school system and president of the West Virginia Association of School Administrators, said the current weekly 30-minute Bible classes, which are the target of a lawsuit challenging their constitutionality, are offered at a majority of the county’s public elementary and middle schools.
She said students in the high school course — about 40 students have signed up so far — will meet daily for 90 minutes for a full semester, which is half of a school year. It’ll be offered at all four high schools.
“The current suit is continuing,” Freedom From Religion Foundation staff attorney Patrick Elliott wrote in an emailed response to the Gazette-Mail’s request for comment. “At this time, we are not planning on challenging the high school courses.