Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rep. Mike Reynolds' office door with a pro-life poster attached.  Reynolds is the co-author of a bill that would aim at listing all of students' religious freedoms in the Oklahoma Statutes.  

Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-OKC, explains House Bill 1001 and defends the bill against his critics who say he is allowing religion in the classroom.

Students May Receive More Freedom in Classrooms

A bill in the Oklahoma Legislature aims at addressing students' religious rights while in the classroom.

Reps. Mike Reynolds and Sally Kern, both R-OKC, said House Bill 1001 would help to save school districts money by addressing all religious freedoms students have while in the classroom in a single statute. By having everything in one bill, it would save school district attorneys time by not having to research every Supreme Court decision dealing with the issue.

Democratic Gov. Brad Henry vetoed a similiar bill last year, saying the bill would allow groups who consider themselves "religious" to come to the classroom that may not be religious at all, such as Satanists, which may be offensive to students. Kern said this assumption is entirely wrong.

"This doesn't apply to groups," Kern said. "This applies to students. This bill makes sure when they walk over the school threshold they do not lose their 1st amendment rights."

The bill passed through committee in late February, but Kern said it is unknown when the bill will be heard by the full House for debate.

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