On May 15 the Cox Mill High School Bible Teaching Association will have a spring yard sale and bake sale fundraiser, 7a.m.-1p.m. at Poplar Tent Presbyterian Church.
Michael Dye, who started teaching Bible classes at Cox Mill in January, said the classes are offered as electives and are already taught at other Cabarrus high schools.
"It is not a club; it is a class," he said. "It is part of the school and county curriculum and is legal to teach in public school, per several Supreme Court rulings, as long as it is teaching about the Bible and not a religious indoctrination."
Each Cabarrus County high school has a Bible teaching association, which is responsible for raising money to pay for teacher salaries and benefits and classroom supplies.
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At Cox Mill, the classes were originally offered when the school opened in August, but not enough money was raised to pay for a teacher. The school system eventually hired Dye, who, like other teachers, had to meet all state teaching requirements.
"I received a Bible teaching degree from Columbia International University and was able to student-teach at Central Cabarrus High with the Bible teacher, Ms. Amy Hicks," he said.
"Upon graduation I was hired to teach Bible at Mount Pleasant High, and after nine years ... I went to Eden, N.C., to start Bible in a high school/middle school.... After two years I moved back to Concord and taught Bible at Central Cabarrus ... as a second teacher. Last spring I taught at Northwest Cabarrus High, also as a second teacher."
Four Bible courses are offered here: two each on the Old and New Testaments. Students can take as many as they have time for. As in any other class, they must take notes, do research projects and be tested in order to pass.
"The goal of the Bible classes (is) to expose and educate students to the Bible, which has had a profound influence on Western civilization and culture," Dye said.
Seven different Bible associations are all trying to raise money to pay for teachers and classes, he said. As the county grows, he said, he thinks some or all of them may need to consolidate to raise more money.
"It is a great opportunity provided to the students of Cabarrus County, and yet without the community support each year, it wouldn't be possible," Dye said.