At the start of July, a new law went into effect in Florida that reiterated students’ basic religious rights.
Dubbed S.B. 436, the “Religious Expression in Public Schools” statute merely restated laws already on the books, including that “(s)tudents have a right to refer to religion in their schoolwork, so long as it relates to the lesson at hand,” and “have the right to pray without interference, so long as they’re not interrupting the lesson at hand,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The bill, signed into law last month by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, also made note that schools are not allowed to prohibit students from wearing clothing and/or jewelry with religious messages, or from starting their own student prayer groups.
It was a subtle way of reminding educators and school officials that kids have rights too, and that school interference with students’ religious rights won’t be tolerated. While stories of outright religious discrimination are rare, they do take place in the Sunshine State. According to the Sun-Sentinel, for instance, a 12-year-old student in Broward County was told he couldn’t read the Bible during his free period in 2014.
But still, some liberals in the state flipped a lid about the new law, complaining about “what if” scenarios such as this:
“There are teachers who do teach science but who don’t believe in evolution,” Volusia County high school teacher Brandon Haught told the Times. “This could embolden them to say, ‘The law is on my side,’” and start covering creationism or intelligent design in their classes.
Question: Has that ever happened before? The answer is no.
The irony is that liberals only cite “what if” examples in regard to laws they oppose. When it comes to allowing men in dresses to enter women and little girls’ restrooms and locker rooms, however, such arguments fall by the wayside.
Haught — who also runs a blog site called “Florida Citizens for Science” — also worried that students who receive a bad grade on an assignment in which they expressed their religious viewpoints might now turn around and sue their teaches for discrimination. It could happen, but so could a trillion other things.
What the teacher neglected to mention were the litany of bad behaviors on the part of educators and officials that would most definitely be halted because of this bill.
Earlier this year, for instance, a Florida teacher reportedly prohibited some of her students from wearing Christian necklaces in her classroom. Given the passage of this new law, I’d highly recommend she doesn’t try that again.
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H/T The Daily Caller