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Rep. Hayes applauds passage of legislation protecting student religious expression

| April 17, 2016

IMG_0014COLUMBUS — State Representative Bill Hayes (R-Harrison Township) recently announced the passage of House Bill 425 by the Ohio House of Representatives. The legislation seeks to protect the religious expression of students in Ohio’s schools.

House Bill 425, authored by Hayes, includes a number of provisions requiring public schools—school districts, community schools, STEM schools, and college-preparatory boarding schools—to protect students’ rights to religious expression in the same manner as secular expression. Among these provisions is the requirement that schools must give students who wish to conduct meetings for religious expression the same access to school facilities as given to secular student groups.

Additionally, schools are prohibited from restricting students from religious expression through homework, artwork, or other assignments, and such students may not be penalized or rewarded based on the religious content of their work.

“Hopefully this legislation will provide clarification that students also have the First Amendment rights of freedom of religion and speech,” said Rep. Hayes.

House Bill 425 now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

Category: Government

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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