Legislature wants to clarify about religious expression | ParkRecord.com

Legislature wants to clarify about religious expression

Prayer is legal in schools, so long as it is not intrusive to other students.

Along with this clarification and others a resolution titled SJR9, Resolution Recognizing Right to Participate in Religious Expressions in Public Schools, seeks to explain current laws. The House Education Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to support the resolution. Having already passed through the Senate it is now on its way to the full House.

Sen. Parley Hellewell, R-Orem, sponsored the resolution and said it does nothing to try and change present law.

"It is just explaining what the law is," he said. "You can talk about religion a lot of people think you can’t do that."

The committee also voted to amend the resolution to state that it will be sent out annually to teachers, students, members of the Utah PTA and Utah State Office of Education among others.

All committee members seemed pleased with the resolution.

"I appreciate the resolution very much. I think it is needed," said Rep. Kory Holdaway, R-Taylorsville.

Park City School Board member, Lisa Kirchenheiter, said a committee is currently working on a policy regarding the subject.

She said religious expression will be allowed so long as it does not favor or denigrate one particular religion and "as long as it is not offensive and does not interfere with the school."

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