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Bible Based Class Introduced at Whitehouse High School

By: Anthony Austin
Date: Sept 2008

"Is it legal or isn't it legal?" said John Keeling, social studies chair.

When students enter John Keeling's history class next Monday, that's the question they'll have to ask themselves.

Keeling will teach a class called "The Influence of the Bible on Western Civilization".

"Students have an interest in the Bible, what's in it and a kind of almost academic approach to the content,"said Keeling.

Students will study about the Bible in the present, and how it's been used throughout history.

"It's hard to find a piece of 17th or 18th century literature that's not impacted some way with biblical illusion," said Keeling.

If you think high schoolers wouldn't be interested in the good book, think again. Sixty kids have already signed up for the class.

Senior Meredith Mohr is one of them.

"You can't truly understand the Bible and appreciate it and not know the background," said Meredith Mohr, a high cchool senior.

It's not only the football field where Matthew Struble is going to be spending his time.

"Growing up in church, you learn all the stories and everything. But you really don't go deep into what everything means," said Matthew Struble.

What does this mean for a class like this?

"We've always been taught that Bibles aren't allowed in school, and now it's going to be one of the textbooks, so I think it takes some getting used to for some students,"said Mohr.

Keeling said this class is not a sermon, but a history lesson.

"You cannot read Shakespeare and understand Shakespeare without understanding the biblical reference, you know that was language he lived in,"said Keeling.

This class is offered to students as an elective. But so far the school has had an overwhelming response to students interested in the course. School officials are not sure if everyone who signed up to take class will be able to.

The Whitehouse School Board approved the class in less than a year.


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