published Monday, March 10th, 2014

Bill gives Tennessee students free religious expression

NASHVILLE — Legislation that would allow a student to express a religious belief in a school assignment has passed the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Courtney Rogers of Goodlettsville was overwhelmingly approved 90-2 on Monday.

Under the proposal, a student could express beliefs about religion in homework, artwork and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content.

Rogers said she proposed the legislation after a 10-year-old student was given an assignment to write about the person she most admires and she chose God. The teacher asked her to choose another subject.

The legislation would also allow a student to organize student prayer groups and other religious gatherings to the same degree that students are permitted to organize noncurricular activities and groups.

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