The Florida Legislature could sign a law that would align it with the federal Equal Access Act, protecting the religious liberty of its students and teachers. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.
It looks like religious liberty may have found a friendly reception in Florida’s state lawmakers.
The Florida legislature recently sent to the governor a bill prohibiting discrimination against students and educators for religious expression at school. The bill expressly permits students to reference their faith in class assignments and even extra-curricular activities, while requiring school districts to create what we call a “limited public forum” at public events. This means that, if students at a school event are invited to speak publicly, they would be permitted to express their religious beliefs.
Should the governor sign the measure, the law of Florida would align itself with the federal Equal Access Act. That means student religious groups would have state law on their side when seeking to access campus facilities in the same way secular groups do.
Teachers are also covered. The bill has a provision restricting school districts from preventing teachers from participating in student-initiated religious activities before or after school.
These are reasonable measures that will show respect for the religious liberty of Florida’s students and teachers. As the Supreme Court said in Shelton v. Tucker: “The vigilant protection of constitutional freedoms is nowhere more vital than in the community of American schools.”
Of course, that vigilance starts with the passing of laws and ends by faithfully adhering to them.
To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.