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Government & Politics

Ohio House Passes a Bill to Open Up Religious Expression in Schools

Photo of the Ohio House chambers
KAREN KASLER
/
OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

A bill that supporters say will allow students to express their religious beliefs in school – and that will relieve districts of fears of lawsuits – has overwhelmingly passed the Republican-dominated Ohio House

The bill requires schools to give the same access to religious groups that secular groups have and would protect students who express religious beliefs via their clothing, jewelry and schoolwork.  But it worries Democratic Rep. Stephanie Howse of Cleveland.

“This provision will add undue burden on our educators, who will be faced with the uncomfortable and difficult situation of having to grade religious beliefs on an academic standard,” Howse said.

Republican Rep. Ron Young of far northeastern Ohio disagreed.

“I think it just gives those kids the religious freedom that they’re looking for, that their parents want, and I think has been shown to be good for this country,” Young said.

The bill now moves on to the Senate.