Teachers aren't allowed to teach the Bible? That's weird...my very much public high school had a whole "Bible as lit" class. I didn't take it, of course, because I didn't really like literature classes in general (except my myths class). But yeah, that's a bit silly to expect people to understand Biblical references if they hadn't been exposed to it in the curriculum. Don't your teachers just explain or provide the passages (or direct you to sources where you could read them yourself) that are necessary to understanding whatever primary text these references are embedded in? It seems like a simple problem to solve.