Florida House says yes to religious expression in schools

AP Photo/Douglas Healey

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Students and school employees would gain wider rights to express their religious viewpoint at public schools under a bill approved by the Florida House.

The Senate approved a similar bill, but the House version is not as broad and won support from members of both parties. The House approved by the bill 114-3.

The legislation would let students express religious viewpoints in coursework without being penalized. Students could also wear jewelry that displays a religious message.

The measure would allow students to organize religious groups or prayer groups. School districts could not stop school personnel from participating in student religious activities.

The Senate bill allowed students to wear clothing that conveys a religious viewpoint. That’s not included in the House version.

Legislators have a month left to work out a final agreement on the bill.

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