The so-called “Freedom of Religious Expression” bill is before Kentucky House members and likely to get a vote this week after winning overwhelming approval in the Senate.
Senate Bill 17 spells out permission for school students to voluntarily express religious or political viewpoints in school assignments or during school activities. Elizabethtown Representative Tim Moore carried the bill in the House Education Committee.
“Students have the same religious liberty to express their viewpoint at school that they do anywhere else. That doesn’t infringe on anyone. That just allows each individual to express their viewpoint and to be people of faith wherever they go,” he said.
Testifying in opposition to the bill in committee was Derek Penwell, Senior Pastor at Douglas Boulevard Christian Church in Louisville. He called the measure duplicative to what’s found in the United States and Kentucky constitutions.
“To date, I’ve never had anybody say to me we really need to problem of our students not being able to express themselves religiously in the schools. It’s just not an issue,” Penwell said.