Amendment to Protect Religious Freedom Wins House Approval

April 15, 2004

Source: Sun-News of the Northland

On April 15, 2004 Sun-News of the Northland reported, "An amendment to protect religious freedom, sponsored by Rep. Phil Willoughby, won House approval March 31. The amendment to House bill 1041 is designed to allow the wearing of religious garb or symbols in public schools while clarifying for teachers that such displays should not be construed as either endorsing a particular religion or as "disruptive" to other students, Willoughby said.

'It gives teachers direction on the appropriateness of forcing students to remove religious emblems and garb. What it says is that the teacher cannot do that unless the garments are somehow being used in a disruptive manner,' Willoughby said. 'I can't imagine the disruptive wearing of a traditional religious garment, but there are cases where children are wearing them in a non-disruptive manner and being told to remove them simply because they were of a religious nature.'"