Christian students in Ohio just received some much needed religious-freedom protection from their governor.
The legislature passed and Gov. Mike DeWine recently signed into law the Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act (PDF), which protects religious expression in government schools. From the bill:
(A) A student enrolled in a public school may engage in religious expression before, during, and after school hours in the same manner and to the same extent that a student is permitted to engage in secular activities or expression before, during, and after school hours.
(B) A school district, community school established under Chapter 3314., STEM school established under Chapter 3326., or a college-preparatory boarding school established under Chapter 3328. of the Revised Code shall give the same access to school facilities to students who wish to conduct a meeting for the purpose of engaging in religious expression as is given to secular student groups, without regard to the content of a student’s or group’s expression.
Students may freely wear religious symbols without penalty, as long as it’s not “obscene, vulgar, offensively lewd, or indecent.” The measure also bars school boards from prohibiting a student from religious expression in homework, artwork, or other written or oral assignments.
State Rep. Tim Ginter, who introduced the bill last year, said that he’s “grateful seeing this important bill regarding expression, which is protected by our First Amendment, become law in Ohio. This will ensure students’ rights at a public school to engage in religious expression in the same way students can participate in secular activities.”