Tennessee Lawmakers Pass Law Protecting the Right of Students to Express Their Religious Beliefs

Students, teachers and coaches gathered in 2011 outside Hendersonville High School for prayer, Scripture reading and hymn singing before classes. (Photo: Tina Lee / File / Gannett Tennessee )
Students, teachers and coaches gathered in 2011 outside Hendersonville High School for prayer, Scripture reading and hymn singing before classes. (Photo: Tina Lee / File / Gannett Tennessee )

State lawmakers approved legislation Monday meant to ensure students can express their religious views at school.

Senators voted 32-0 to pass the Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act, a bill that says schools cannot block students from stating their religious views in public forums, organizing religious groups or stating their views in assignments. Similar measures have passed recently in TexasOklahoma and South Carolina. The bill already has passed the state House of Representatives.

Court rulings and existing state laws have stated previously that students can exercise their religious beliefs while at school. The measure’s sponsor, state Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, said it would provide “guidance” to school officials who fear they might be sued if they permit religious expression.

SOURCE: Chas Sisk, NAS
The Tennessean

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