House Bill 8 was recently introduced by Rep. Melvin Henley (D - Calloway/Trigg) for the 2009 session. If adopted HB 8 would
permit students in public schools to voluntarily express religious viewpoints in school assignments and to organize prayer groups, religious clubs, or religious gatherings before, during, and after school, to the same extent that students are permitted to organize other noncurricular student activities on school property.HB 8 would also
allow student-led prayers at school events, and require school districts to only allow students to give public prayers at graduation ceremonies who are either a student council member, sports team captain, senior class officer, academic high achiever, or who meet “neutral criteria” for being accorded a “position of honor,” or who are on a list of “student leaders” designated by the district.
The bill establishes explicit criteria for allowable content of all student graduation ceremony speeches.
Here's my favorite misguided provision of this misguided bill:
"...a student shall be permitted to voluntarily... Express religious viewpoints in a public school to the same extent and under the same circumstances as a student is permitted to express viewpoints on nonreligious topics or subjects in the school..."
Since student's spend virtually all of their time in class discussing nonreligious topics, this bill would free students who may wish to turn their local high school classroom into a church - and defends students who wish to claim that "wrong answers" are true because they believe them to be true.
Homework and classroom assignments must be judged by ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance. Students may not be penalized or rewarded on account of the religious content of their work;
So no extra points for believing the world is 6,000 years old. Then there's:
...a student shall be permitted to voluntarily... organize ...religious gatherings before, during, and after school..
Your attention please, students. The wholistic snakehandlers prayer and jihadist club will meet this Wednesday in the science lab right after the pep rally.