Volusia County Schools received a challenge regarding having the Bible in school library shelves on Thursday, Oct. 19.
The challenge was resolved on Tuesday, Oct. 24, with the district determining the book should be returned to shelves in the impacted 15 schools, said Danielle Johnson, VCS director of community information, in an email to the Observer. Three Ormond Beach area schools — Seabreeze High School, Mainland High School and Hinson Middle School — were among those were the Bible was available.
The Volusia County School Board briefly discussed the matter at its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 24, after School Board member Ruben Colon said he had received messages of concern from some local pastors.
"I just wanted to be clear, for the public to understand that there is a state statute that specifically allows for the Bible to be in schools, and that is not something that this board can take up," Colon said.
VCS attorney Kevin Pendley cited Florida Statute 1003.45 which reads, "The district school board may install in the public schools in the district a secular program of education including, but not limited to, an objective study of the Bible and of religion."
"In my legal opinion, referencing a specific book title — the Bible — the legislature has authorized that book to be in the library media selection materials used in schools," Pendley said.
Colon said that the book challenge was treated according to the board's policy, which includes removal from school library shelves until the material has been reviewed.