Vote set for Ohio bill allowing student religious expression

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio proposal that would broaden protections for students’ religious expression in public schools is poised for a vote in the House.

Among other provisions, House Bill 425 would let students express their religious viewpoints more freely in homework or in the classroom. It’s scheduled for a House vote on Wednesday.

Ohio law already bars school boards from adopting policies or rules prohibiting students from exercising or expressing their religious beliefs. But this bill would scrap a piece of the law that permits districts to limit such expression to the lunch period or other non-instructional time.

Republican Rep. Bill Hayes has said his proposal aims to make clear what’s permitted in schools.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio opposes the measure. The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports it.