Oklahoma House passes scholarly religious freedom bill

The bill would require Oklahoma public schools to allow and protect religious student expressions and allow religious beliefs in homework.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: March 15, 2013
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Rep. Curtis McDaniel, a former high school principal, said students can pray and talk about God in public schools now.

“So what are we doing here?” asked McDaniel, D-Smithville. “We're making a political statement.”

Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, said the bill is not about the right to pray in school.

“This really ensures the school district doesn't discriminate against religious viewpoints,” he said.

The measure states the attorney general's office will defend school districts that accept the proposed policy. Henry, a Democrat, vetoed a similar measure because he said he was concerned schools could be forced to provide equal time to fringe organizations masquerading as religions and advocate behaviors, such as drug abuse or hate speech, that are dangerous or offensive to students and the public.

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