Kentucky Equality Federation Eastern Kentucky Regional Director Matt Berry stated: "Religious expression is any form of expression that is not a disturbance to the day-to-day function of the school or instruction. According to the Kentucky Department of Education, no school employee may endorse, promote, or discriminate against a religion when acting in their official capacity."
"House Bill 426 could blur or repeal existing school bullying laws in the name of religious freedom," concluded Southeastern Kentucky Regional Director Will Taylor and Eastern Kentucky Regional Director Matt Berry.
Kentucky Equality Federation respects the right of every person to their personal religious beliefs so long as those beliefs do not infringe on the civil rights or religious beliefs of others.
House Bill 426:
Amend KRS 158.183 to permit students to voluntarily express religious viewpoints in school assignments free from discrimination and to organize prayer groups, religious clubs, or other religious gatherings before, during, and after school to the same extent that students are permitted to organize other noncurricular student activities and groups; create a new section of KRS Chapter 158 to require each board of education to adopt and implement a policy regarding voluntary student expression of religious viewpoints and to establish a limited public forum for student speakers at all school events at which a student is to publicly speak, including graduation; designate procedure for selection of student speakers; require subject of speech to be relevant to event; require district disclaimer indicating nonendorsement of the content of voluntary expressions by students.
Kentucky Equality Federation will continue to monitor the legislation.