I just got this in a message from the Center for Inquiry about measures before the Florida Legislature:
“Legislation that would grant special privileges to religious beliefs in public schools has been introduced by Florida Rep. Kimberly Daniels (D-Jacksonville), and Sen. Dennis Baxely (R-Ocala).
The sponsors of the “Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act” (HB 303 and SB 436) claim the measures would protect the religious liberty of students, parents, and teachers. In fact, the proposals would place religion on a pedestal, allowing students and teachers alike to turn the classroom into their pulpit.
These religious privilege bills could:
- Allow teachers to promote religious viewpoints to students (for example, telling LGBTQ students they are destined for Hell);
- Allow students to demand teachers grade science papers based on religious ideas as if those claims are as legitimate as those based on science and evidence (for example, that God created all life in its present form 6,000 years ago);
- Undermine efforts to stop the bullying of marginalized students;
- Pollute the teaching of basic science and history with dogma and myth; and
- Sanction school-sponsored and teacher-led prayers and religious meetings.”
The obvious corollary to these measures is that a Muslim or Hindu student should also expect to be graded in accordance with the teachings of the Quran or the Mahabharata. It would be fun to see how this would turn out and how the sponsors of the bill would react to that result.