The State of Florida has a new law on religious liberty. The “Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act” codifies much of the case law protecting religious expression in public school. Learn more about what this means for students and school employees by listening to FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.
The State of Florida has a new law on religious liberty. The “Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act” codifies much of the case law protecting religious expression in public school.
Under the new law, schools are instructed to treat voluntary student religious expression in the same way as other viewpoints being expressed. Students are given the backing of the state in their manner of religious dress. Groups of students are given the space to form student religious clubs and gather to pray, just like any other club.
School employees benefit under the law as well. The new law expressly states, “Employees may not be prevented from participating in religious activities on school grounds that are initiated by students at reasonable times prior to or after the school day.”
Finally, the law requires the Florida Department of Education to develop a model policy establishing a limited public forum at certain times for the voluntary expression of religious viewpoints by students and personnel. This provision, which is required to be adopted by each school district throughout the state, will undoubtedly provide direction for how to handle things like graduation speeches, school board meetings, and maybe even ahead of athletic contests.
There’s nothing earth-shattering in this new law, but whenever a state takes the time to codify what the courts have determined the First Amendment requires, it’s a good thing for religious liberty.
To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.