Religion in Schools Bill Passes NC House Panel

The Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislation designed to make clear how North Carolina students can participate in religious activities in the public schools has cleared a House panel, even as a lawmaker warned that a phrase could lead to lawsuits.

The House Education Committee recommended legislation Tuesday passed by the state Senate last year making clear that students have the right to pray, share religious viewpoints and distribute religious literature in schools, with reasonable restrictions.

The bill says school coaches involved in extracurricular activities can be present for voluntary student prayers and may adopt "a respectful posture" during it. The bill doesn't define the phrase.

The panel rejected an amendment by Rep. Rick Glazier to remove the "posture" language. He says similar words have been struck down by federal courts. The bill goes Wednesday to the full House.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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