Emails to school board members and school administrators in a district that approved a Bible-based curriculum show that they broke into small groups for meetings with the program's chief backer to circumvent a law requiring government bodies to meet in public.

The emails obtained by The Associated Press show that the April 14 meetings with Steve Green and other members of the Museum of the Bible curriculum team, the president of the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store chain, occurred just hours before the Mustang School Board approved the course as an elective.

The Mustang superintendent acknowledged insisting on separate presentations at the direction of Green and his public relations representatives. Sean McDaniel says having parents or media there could have been "confusing and awkward."