In an affluent Ohio suburb between Dayton and Cincinnati, a group of parents is upset that the school district is offering a voluntary 12-week course on the U.S. Constitution this summer.
The course at Springboro High School will cost each student $35 and registration fees will cover the costs of the course, reports local NBC affiliate WLWT. Instructors will not be paid to teach the class.
Those details notwithstanding, angry parents charge that the course, called Institution of the Constitution, is unconstitutional in a public school setting — ironically enough — because its designers and teachers are overtly religious.
“I googled some of the names — some of the groups that are teaching the classes — and of course my assumptions were correct in finding out it was a religion-based class,” parent Jenny Nijak informed WLWT.
“The fact that we’re using public resources for something that is clearly promoting a political and religious agenda that appears to be unconstitutional as well as a waste of taxpayer dollars is unconscionable,” parent David Bowman insisted, according to the NBC affiliate.
Parents also pointed to a flier for the class which urges students and parents to study “your godly American heritage and birthright.”
On the website Wallbuilders.com, instructor David Barton openly embraces Christianity and states among his objectives to “develop public policies which reflect biblical values,” according to WLWT.
The WallBuilders website explains that the organization is “dedicated to presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built — a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined.”
“Our district makes every effort to be a full community partner in permitting and encouraging the responsible use of school facilities for purposes that serve the community,” school district officials said in a statement. “For example, the district has agreements with area churches, civic groups and sports organizations for facility use as well.”
Springboro was in the news for similar reasons last month as well, WLWT also reports. The school board was debating concerning whether or not to teach intelligent design as a possible explanation for the universe.