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Religious expression legislation may open Pandora’s Box

February 13th, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda


Students could use their religion as the subject of an assigned essay, wear clothing promoting their faith, and even hold a prayer group during school hours if similar non secular activities were allowed under a bill filed in the state Capitol.  But the freedom of religious express legislation would open the door to any faith, not just Christianity.

From prayer groups before during and after school to writing essays about their faith, to drawing a picture of the crucification in art class,, students with a religious point of view would have the same rights as any other student under a four page bill filed in the capitol. Sponsor Kimberly Daniels says prayer should have never been taken out of schools.

“If we open the door for Christian clubs, for children to join Christian clubs, there would be less people going street gangs” says the Jacksonville freshman lawmaker.

There is currently no statewide policy, Decisions on what’s appropriate are made locally, which Co Sponsor Dennis Baxley says have been stiffing some districts.

“And I think generally there is a chilling effect and a sense by many that you are supposed to sterilize the environment of any free expression. I don’t think that’s healthy” says Baxley.

And while sponsors of this bill really mean Christian freedom of expression, it would do so much more.

When the Capitol was opened to a nativity scene, a devil worship exhibit was also allowed. Andrea Messina, the Executive Director of the FL School Boards Assn, says local control is important.

The legislation has been assigned to committees, but no hearings have been set.”

The legislation would apply not only to students, but staff and faculty in a school as well.

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