Ohio House Passes Bill Protecting Students’ Religious Freedom and Expression

The Ohio Statehouse.
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Last week, the Ohio House approved a measure to protect student rights to “religious expression in public schools, including prayer, school assignments, artwork and clothing,” according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Republican Rep. Tim Ginter, who sponsored the bill, believes the legislation clarifies freedom of religion on public school campuses. It is “inclusive legislation that will positively enhance liberties,” he said.

But critics of the bill believe it’s unnecessary. “I appreciate the sentiment,” said Rep. Phillip Robinson (D). “But we already protect religious expression.”

The law, which still must travel through the Republican-led Senate, will give student religious groups the same access to school facilities as secular groups. It will also lift bans that limit religious expression to lunch or non-instructional times and allow students to speak on religion in their homework or artwork.

According to Faithwire, this provision would allow students to embrace creationism in their science classrooms instead of adhering to evolution.

The interpretations of the bill, however, have been contested. According to the Washington Post, chief lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio fears the bill would allow students to answer “incorrectly” based on religious beliefs than science and not be penalized.

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Source: Christian Headlines