Dawson County to offer Bible-based classes - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Dawson County to offer Bible-based classes

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DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. -

There's a new plan to bring Bible-based classes to public school students in Dawson County. Beginning in January, Dawson County High School students will have the option to take Christian-based classes for credit toward graduation.

The plan would allow high school students the opportunity to take a class based on the principals of the Bible for an elective credit.

"Biblical-based principals are good for all us to understand and know, and so many of our young people today don't have the opportunity or the ability to go to church," said Kevin Tanner of the Dawson County Christian Learning Center.

One class will begin in January at the Dawsonville Baptist Church before the school day begins.

"This is completely non-denominational. It is an evangelical organization," said Mark Cown of the Dawson County Christian Learning Center.

Similar classes have been challenged in the past. Last summer the group, Freedom From Religion asked a South Carolina judge to get involved in a case there, claiming that a church should not be able to give a letter grade to a public school student. The group also wondered that, by simply allowing this to happen, if the school district was blurring the lines between church and state.

"We may have some push back, but again it's being offered at no cost to the taxpayers, no public funds, not  being held on public property, so I don't anticipate that being a big issue," said Tanner.

Initially, organizers suspect students will come from families already involved in the church, like Rhys Adams.

"For me, it would be something where I could learn more about my faith and get more of a relationship with God," said Adams.

Eventually, they're hoping to teach several classes to dozens of students during the school day.

"I think the most important thing is giving kids and teenagers a great foundation for life," said Cown.

Organizers said the program will be accredited through Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). It will initially be taught by an accredited teacher.

The program is funded by donations, organizers said.

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