February 2017 Church & State - February 2017

S.C. Bill Would Allow Teachers To Pray With Students

  AU admin

A bill filed in the South Carolina legislature would allow public school teachers in the state to initiate and participate in religious activities with students, including praying with them, participating in religious clubs on campus and more.

H3345, proposed by state Reps. Bill Chumley, Mike Burns and Stephen Long, states that the bill would “promote academic freedom for public school teachers.”

But religious freedom advocates say that the proposed law clearly violates the First Amendment and if passed, would allow public school teachers to endorse a specific religion and impose their personal religious beliefs in the classroom.

The U.S. Supreme Court deemed public school and state-sponsored prayer unconstitutional in two landmark cases, Engel v. Vitale (1962) and Abington School District v. Schempp (1963).

It is yet to be seen if this proposed bill will gain traction. It is currently pending in a committee.

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