Oklahoma Legislature Approves Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act

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The Oklahoma House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation today allowing students to express their faith in public schools, according to a news release from State Representative John Bennett.

House Bill 2422, by state representative John Bennett, would require school districts to treat student expressions of faith int he same manner as any other permissible subject.

The bill would require school districts to adopt a “Model Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Policy.” The model policy language is the exact language approved by the Supreme Court decision in Good News Club v. Milford Central School, 533 U.S. 98 (2001).

“This is about a student’s right to express themselves,” said Bennett, R-Sallisaw. “Schools should welcome both religious and non-religious students and doing so is not only fair but also allows more depth in education discussions. This bill will help ensure that students of faith are treated equally to students who hold and express secular views.”

House Bill 2422 would also require schools to provide the same access to school facilities for religious groups as it does for other groups and allow the students to organize prayer groups.

The legislation was approved with a vote of 88-0 and will now proceed to the Oklahoma Senate.