Okla. House passes bill to protect student religious expression
Legislation that protects students' rights to express their religious viewpoints in public school classrooms was approved by the Oklahoma House yesterday despite objections from opponents who said it was unnecessary.
"This is a solution looking for a problem," said Rep. Ed Cannaday, D-Porum, a former school teacher and administrator. Cannaday said the measure, which passed 71-25, expresses contempt for public school administrators by micromanaging what can occur in classrooms.
Rep. Dan Sullivan, R-Tulsa, said the bill merely compiled the legal guidelines from the federal government on a student's right to express his religious views at school.
"The real issue here is giving everyone a level playing field," Sullivan said. "This allows consistency across the board."
Sullivan said the measure did not favor one religion over another and did not violate the legal prohibition against public school officials sanctioning a religious point of view.
The measure says school districts must treat a student's voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint the same way it treats a student's voluntary expression of a viewpoint on another subject. It also says the school may not discriminate against a student on the basis of a religious viewpoint.
"Students may express their beliefs about religion in homework, artwork and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of their submissions," the measure states.
It says students may organize prayer groups, religious clubs and religious gatherings before, during and after school to the same extent that students are permitted to organize other non-curricular student activities and groups.
Religious groups must be given the same access to school facilities for assembling as is given to other non-curricular groups without discrimination based on the religious content of the student expression.
How will moslems use this to their advantage in their da'wa jihad?!?
1) Okla. House passes bill to protect student religious expression