Students in the state of Ohio will have more religious freedom in school following a recent bill signed by Gov. Mike DeWine.
Once criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Student Religious Liberties Act was passed with an almost unanimous vote and signed into law on Friday, June 19th.
The act was initially introduced by Republican Representative Tim Ginter in spring of 2019, but its passing was prolonged until up to a few weeks ago.
There has been an increase in pressure from biased groups against the students’ religious freedom, which has led many school officials to feel confused and fear the threat of litigation.
Many student high school clubs were treated differently due to the fact that they were religious, and many of these students testified at committee hearings for the passing of the bill.
Aaron Baer, president of Citizens for Community Values, leads a conservative group that encourages students to have the choice.
“No student should have to hide their faith just because they enter a public school,” Baer explained.
Critics, like chief lobbyist with the ACLU of Ohio Gary Daniels, say that the passing of this bill will exempt students from actual penalty for submitting scientifically incorrect assignments that align with their own religious beliefs.
“This may sound like a positive development, but it would be messier than anticipated,” Daniels stated.