This is in the Colulmbus Dispatch of Columbus, Ohio: Ohio House passes bill it says will protect students’ religious liberties at school. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
The Ohio House on Wednesday approved legislation that would protect student rights to religious expression in public schools, including prayer, school assignments, artwork and clothing. Lawmakers passed House Bill 164 by a vote of 61-31 and sent it to the Senate for consideration.
Sponsor Rep. Tim Ginter, R-Salem, said his “bill is not an expansion but a clarification (of) what students can and cannot do in religious expression.” He added that the measure was “inclusive legislation that will positively enhance liberties.”
Here it is at the website of the Ohio Legislature: House Bill 164. The thing is 17 pages of mind-numbing stuff. You have to cruise all the way to the bottom of page 15, where it says, with our bold font:
Sec. 3320.03 . No school district board of education, governing authority of a community school established under Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code, governing body of a STEM school established under Chapter 3326. of the Revised Code, or board of trustees of a college-preparatory boarding school established under Chapter 3328. of the Revised Code shall prohibit a student from engaging in religious expression in the completion of homework, artwork, or other written or oral assignments. Assignment grades and scores shall be calculated using ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance, including any legitimate pedagogical concerns, and shall not penalize or reward a student based on the religious content of a student’s work.
Okay, back to the newspaper, which tells us:
The bill, dubbed the “Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act of 2019,” would require schools to:
• Give student religious groups the same access to school facilities for meetings and events as secular groups have.
• Lift bans limiting student expression of religion to lunch or non-instructional periods.
• Abolish any restrictions on students from engaging in religious expression in completion of homework, artwork or other assignments.
Newsweek also has an article on it: New Ohio Law Lets Students Give Wrong Answers on Tests for Religious Reasons, which says:
The Ohio state House of Representatives has passed the Student Religious Liberties Act, which prevents teachers from penalizing students for giving incorrect answers on tests or other schoolwork if those facts would conflict with their religious beliefs. … In practice, this means that the extremely broadly-defined “religious expression” can be present in the content of an essay, test or other assignment and the teacher cannot grade down or otherwise correct the student for it.
The bill's sponsor, Republican representative and ordained minister Timothy Ginter, has a history of attempting to write his religious beliefs into legislation.
That’s pretty much the news. Now the thing now has to pass the Ohio Senate. We’ll keep an eye on it.
Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.