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'Better grades and great attitude:' Central Ga. school district offers Bible study classes

After Pres. Trump tweeted support for public schools offering bible literacy classes, we took a look into how Bleckley Schools makes it work for them

BLECKLEY COUNTY, Ga. — Back in 2006, Georgia's General Assembly passed legislation allowing public schools to offer biblical studies as an elective course. 

Bleckley County Schools found a way to keep it separate from its students, yet still available for them.

9th grader Libby McClure says looks forward to it every day.

"There are a lot of people that love to learn about God and you don't have to be a Christian to learn about it. It's just a really fun class and it's good facts to learn," she said.

She's taking a bible studies class for elective credit through Bleckley Christian Learning Center.

President Don Giles says they partnered with the school district three years ago to provide the classes off-campus through Georgia's Release Time Education program

"The school releases their students to us and we teach them the Bible as an elective class for an hour just like a school period, and then we release them back to the school," Giles said.

Bleckley Christian Learning Center is a Christian nonprofit organization and they fund the program.

"According to the guidelines, we can't use any kind of state funds. We hire the teachers, we hire the bus drivers, we coordinate the curriculum," Giles said.

Superintendent Steve Smith says the program really makes a difference.

"Our students who participate in the program have better behavior, fewer discipline referrals, they tend to have better grades and they really have a great attitude," Smith said.

Wilcox and Pulaski County school districts also offer similar programs for their students.

West Laurens High School in Laurens County offers bible literacy classes as an elective on its campus.