Bill aims to cut teaching of religious doctrine in Tennessee classrooms

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen, right, talks with sixth-grade English Language Arts students Deshay Smith, left, and Carlotta Sawyer during a March visit to Dalewood Middle School.

No Tennessee public school course could include anything deemed "religious doctrine" unless the course is taught in 10th, 11th or 12th grade if a newly proposed bill becomes law.

The bill from Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia, comes on the heels of complaints from some parents in several communities as to what their children are learning in middle school about Islam.

"I think that probably the teaching that is going on right now in seventh, eighth grade is not age appropriate," Butt said Friday afternoon. "They are not able to discern a lot of times whether its indoctrination or whether they're learning about what a religion teaches."

Parents in Williamson County, Maury County and several other areas have complained about information contained in courses related to world history. Some, like U.S. Rep Diane Black, R-Tenn.,