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Ohio House Passes Religious Expression Bill

Ohio House (Statehouse Bureau)

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

The bill requires schools to give the same access to religious groups as secular groups have, and would protect students who express religious beliefs in their clothing and jewelry and through their schoolwork.  

But it worries Democrat 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.”

Republican 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.”

The bill now moves on to the Senate.