This law is the direct result of a Kentucky school censoring a religious viewpoint expressed in A Charlie Brown Christmas show

Kentucky Law Bolsters Religious Freedom in Public Schools

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By —— Bio and Archives March 20, 2017

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FRANKFORT, KY - Kentucky Governor Mike Bevin signed SB-17 into law, which protects the constitutional rights of individual students to express their religious views without fear of punishment. It allows religious groups the same access to the public school as secular groups. The law protects schools that enrich their students with programs and plays that provide a deeper understanding of our cultural and religious heritage. It also protects teachers who include the Bible in historical and cultural discussions.

This law was in response to a Kentucky school that cut the Bible verse Luke 2:11 out of the movie, A Charlie Brown Christmas, because of fear it might cause the school to be sued. The verse states, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” The law became referred to as the “Charlie Brown law.”

According to the summary of SB-17, the law will provide for the following:

  • It permits students to voluntarily express religious or political viewpoints in school assignments free from discrimination
  • It requires local boards of education to ensure that the selection of student speakers is made in a viewpoint-neutral manner and that the student’s prepared remarks are not altered before delivery without student’s consent
  • Religious and political organizations are allowed equal access to public forums on the same basis as nonreligious and nonpolitical organizations, and no recognized religious or political student organization is discriminated against in the ordering of its internal affairs
  • It allows students to display religious messages on items of clothing and to access public school facilities during non-instructional time as a religious student organization,
  • It allows the use of school media to announce student religious meetings, and for students to meet as a religious student group during non-instructional time and before and after school to the same extent as students undertaking such actions in a non-religious manner
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