Bible-as-science-reference bill in Idaho

02.16.2016

Idaho's Senate Bill 1321 (PDF), introduced on February 12, 2016, and referred to the Senate Committee on State Affairs, would, if enacted, permit the use of the Bible in Idaho's public schools "for reference purposes to further the study of" a variety of topics, including "astronomy, biology, [and] geology."

The bill resembles a resolution (PDF, p. 4) adopted by the Idaho Republican Party in the summer of 2015. The executive director of the party told KBPO television (June 10, 2015), "if there is a school district that thinks having the Bible as part of the curriculum would be useful, this resolution is basically saying, 'we support the idea of allowing them to have that tool in their tool box.'"

The bill is credited to the Senate Education Committee, but according to Idaho Education News (February 11, 2016), it was proposed by Sheryl Nuxoll (R-District 7), who convinced the committee to introduce the bill. Idaho Education News also reported, "Idaho school teachers can already use the Bible as a reference."