New Hampshire school board approves student's Bible meetings

Posted: Friday, September 17, 2004

GORHAM, N.H. (AP) The Gorham School Board has approved a high school senior's after-school Bible study classes, pending review by the school attorney.

Liz Woodward, who plans to study biblical counseling at Lancaster (Pa.) Bible College, told the board she would hold weekly classes as her required senior project, The Berlin Daily Sun reported.

Concerned over separation of church and state, the board debated Woodward's proposal at length before voting unanimous approval so long as those attending have parents' permission and an adult supervises the classes.

Principal Keith Parent said he and Woodward researched the legality of her project and found it within federal law. Attendance is voluntary, Parent said, so the sessions are among the ways that community groups can use school facilities for outside activities.

''We're on very solid (legal) ground,'' Parent said. ''I see the project as more about teaching and learning.''

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