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Religious expression bill in public schools heads to the governor's desk

Stu Johnson
London Senator Brandon Storm Presents the Bill-Bill Sponsor Chris Fugate Stand Behind Him 03-16-23

The Kentucky General Assembly has given final passage to a measure allowing religious expression in school. The bill states teachers, coaches, and other staff may engage in private religious expression outside the scope of duties. London Senator Brandon Storm told his colleagues if it’s an appropriate time and place to show that someone is a basketball fan it’s an appropriate time and place to share a following of faith.

“If it’s an appropriate time and place to display a sports team's schedule, memorabilia, shirts, logos, mascots, it’s also an appropriate time to display Christian, spiritual, religious quotes or verses,” said Storm.

Smithfield Senator Lindsey Tichenor said there’s been an encroachment of religious freedoms.

In explaining her no-vote, Louisville Senator Karen Berg recalled a high school classmate who would fall to her knees and pray for her salvation.

“In school, literally she would get down on the ground and pray for my salvation. As in ninth grade, it was very disruptive,” said Berg.

Also casting a "no" vote was Lexington Senator Reggie Thomas. He said such religious expression can be done at a private time in a private space. The Fayette County lawmaker said proselytizing in the school environment is wrong.

The bill now goes to Governor Beshear for his consideration.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 30 years.
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