April 2017 Church & State - April 2017

Okla. And Ind. Consider Religion-In-School Bills

  AU admin

Americans United is speaking out against a bill in Oklaho­ma that would bring formal prayer back into public schools.

The bill, SB 450, is euphemistically called the “Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act.” The measure would prohibit school districts from restricting what it calls a student’s “voluntary religious expression in the classroom.”

Under this bill, students could claim a right to proselytize fellow classmates during class and schools would have to allow students to deliver morning devotional messages. The bill goes so far as to state that these messages can be delivered only by the president of the student council, the president of the senior class or the captain of the varsity football team.

In Indiana, a House of Representatives committee passed a school prayer bill on Feb. 21. HB 1024, which the Education Committee passed with a 10-2 vote, asserts that school assignments should allow more religious expression, that student prayers should be accommodated throughout the day, that religious attire be allowed, and more. 

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