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Government & Politics

Ohio Bill Would Extend Religious Expression Rights During the School Day

photo of Bill Hayes

  A lawmaker says he wants to protect students of all faiths with a bill that would put freedom of religious expression in schools into state law. 

The bill would require schools that allow secular clubs and activities on campus to provide the same opportunities to all student religious groups. And Republican Rep. Bill Hayes of Granville says it would protect students who want to wear religious clothing and jewelry, and use religious expression in homework, artwork and other assignments.

Hayes says he’s worried that some students might be suffering because schools fear lawsuits.

“I feel if it’s going on at all it’s a problem.”

There are protections for religious expression in federal law, but Hayes says this state law would clarify students’ rights.  The bill could go to the House for a vote next week.