State Capitol
1:56 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Liberty or Political Stunt? School Religious Viewpoints Act Passes

A bill designed to allow public school students to express religious viewpoints and organize prayer groups has passed the House despite concerns the measure could actually lead to more lawsuits against schools.

Credit nanny snowflake / Flickr (Creative Commons)

The House voted 79-13 for the Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act by Sallisaw Republican Rep. John Bennett, who says the bill is modeled after a Texas law. The bill further directs school boards to adopt policies for student speakers at all school events that protects "the voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint by a student."

Supporters of the measure argued public schools have become religion free zones. While opponents of the proposal would further complicate the way administrators deal with religion in schools.

The head of the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says the proposed law is nothing more than a "political stunt" and urged its defeat in the Senate.

House Bill 1940