South Carolina provides a taste of bad bills to come

A new bill has been proposed in South Carolina’s Legislature that would openly defy the Constitution by allowing the state’s public school teachers to proselytize.

HB 3345 claims to promote “academic freedom,” but the bill is about emboldening public school teachers to violate the law. It invites public school teachers to promote their personal religious beliefs to students in the classroom and to participate in student-organized prayer events and religious clubs. Such actions would violate both the federal Equal Access Act, which sets boundaries for teacher participation in student clubs, and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which, in part, protects the rights of public school students to an education free from religious proselytization.

HB 3345 is a brazen attack on long-standing constitutional protections meant to ensure freedom of religion (and nonreligion) by ensuring freedom from religion in government. In our current political climate, FFRF expects numerous similar bills to make the rounds throughout the country. Please be on the lookout for bills like this one in your state!

Public school teachers are already free to talk about religion from an academic perspective. They can teach about the impact of religion on history, literature, and the arts. What they cannot do is use their positions as government employees to promote religious ideology as true. The Religious Right now seeks to muddy the waters in the hopes of slowly abolishing our Establishment Clause rights.

The Constitution is meant to protect the religious and nonreligious freedoms of all Americans, not just those in the Christian majority. Please help FFRF preserve and protect the Establishment Clause by voicing your objection to toxic legislation in the coming years.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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