Thursday, June 19, 2014

Student Religious Liberty Bills Await Governors' Signatures In Missouri, North Carolina

This week the North Carolina General Assembly gave its final approval, and sent to the governor for his signature, Senate Bill 370, protecting students' rights to engage in prayer and religious expression in public schools. It allows students to express religious viewpoints to other students to the same extent that students can express non-religious viewpoints, and to express religious viewpoints in classwork and homework without discrimination. It also requires student religious groups to be treated the same as non-religious groups. However students may not harass or coerce other students. The bill also sets out grievance procedures for students or parents who believe a student's religious expression rights have been infringed.

Similarly, the Missouri General Assembly passed and on May 30 sent to the governor for his signature H.B. 1303 protecting student religious liberty. It requires public schools to treat student expression of religious viewpoints in the same manner that they treat expressions of other viewpoints, and protects expressions of religious viewpoints in school work and on clothing worn to school. It gives student religious groups the same rights as non-religious groups. [Thanks to Blog From the Capital for the leads.]