Blurring Separation Of Church And State, School District To Permit Student, Teacher Prayer Groups On School Grounds.
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — In a move that may blur the lines between Church and State, the Palm Beach County School Board is set to approve a religious expression policy at its January 19th meeting.
As part of the new policy obtained by BocaNewsNow.com, students will be permitted to take part in “prayer groups” during the day. Teachers and other employees are also allowed to take part in the prayer groups.
This is the text of the policy that is expected to be approved:
Policy 2.123 Religious Expression
It is the policy of the Palm Beach County School District that the District will not discriminate against a student, parent, or school personnel on the basis of a religious viewpoint or religious expression. The Palm Beach County School District will also continue to comply with the Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 4701-4704, as set forth in School Board Policy 2.121, “Student Activities in Schools.” The Equal Access Act and School Board Policy 2.121 control over any conflicting provisions in this Policy.
Student Expression of Religious Viewpoints
The Palm Beach County School District will treat a student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject in the same manner that a school district treats a student’s voluntary expression of a secular viewpoint.
A student may express his or her religious beliefs in coursework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination. A student’s homework and classroom assignments shall be evaluated, regardless of their religious content, based on expected academic standards relating to the course curriculum and requirements.
A student may not be penalized or rewarded based on the religious content of his or her work if the coursework, artwork, or other written or oral assignments require a student’s viewpoint to be expressed.
3. Religious Clothing, Jewelry, and Accessories: A student may wear clothing, accessories, and jewelry that display a religious message or symbol in the same manner and to the same extent that secular types of clothing, accessories, and jewelry that display messages or symbols are permitted to be worn.
Students Engaging in Religious Activities and Expression at School
A student may pray or engage in religious activities or religious expression before, during, and after the school day in the same manner and to the same extent that a student may engage in secular activities or expression.
A student may organize prayer groups, religion clubs, and other religious gatherings before, during, and after the school day in the same manner and to the same extent that a student is permitted to organize secular activities and groups.
As part of the plan, the Palm Beach County School District also affirms that it will provide equal access to all religious groups to school buildings.
Public school systems have traditionally separated school and religion. Parents will have an opportunity to comment on the policy at the January 19th meeting.
Do you believe prayer and religious meetings are acceptable during the school day? Let us know by sharing your comments, below.
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