Download This Bill in Microsoft Word format
Current Status Bill Number:View additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
4526Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 20000201Primary Sponsor: CampsenAll Sponsors: Campsen, Quinn, Taylor, McGee, Altman, Barrett, Easterday, Hamilton, Harrell, Haskins, Leach, Meacham-Richardson, Rice, Robinson, Sandifer, Simrill, F. Smith, Tripp, Trotter, Wilkins, Woodrum, LoftisDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\gjk\20893sd00.docResiding Body: SenateDate of Last Amendment: 20000404Subject: Religion in Public Schools Act of 2000, School districts, Curriculum, Attorney General to appoint officerHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 20000525 Recalled from Committee, 04 SED placed on the Calendar Senate 20000525 Committed to Committee 04 SED Senate 20000524 Committee report: Favorable with 11 SJ amendment Senate 20000406 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to Committee House 20000405 Read third time, sent to Senate House 20000404 Amended, read second time House 20000330 Co-Sponsor added (Rule 5.2) by Rep. Loftis ------ 20000330 Scrivener's error corrected House 20000329 Committee report: Favorable 25 HJ with amendment House 20000201 Introduced, read first time, 25 HJ referred to Committee Versions of This Bill Revised on March 29, 2000 - Word format Revised on March 30, 2000 - Word format Revised on April 4, 2000 - Word format Revised on May 24, 2000 - Word format
May 24, 2000
Introduced by Reps. Campsen, Quinn, Taylor, McGee, Altman, Barrett, Easterday, Hamilton, Harrell, Haskins, Leach, Meacham-Richardson, Rice, Robinson, Sandifer, Simrill, F. Smith, Tripp, Trotter, Wilkins, Woodrum and Loftis
S. Printed 5/24/00--S.
Read the first time April 6, 2000.
To whom was referred a Bill (H. 4526), to enact the "South Carolina Religion in Public Schools Act of 2000" including provisions to add Section 1-7-35, etc., respectfully
That they have duly and carefully considered the same, and recommend that the same do pass with amendment:
Amend the bill, as and if amended, page 3, beginning on line 7, in Section 59-17-135(B), as contained in SECTION 3, by striking lines 7 though 13 in their entirety and inserting therein the following:
/ (B) Once a teacher or administrator has completed the program of instruction contained in this section, he or she is not required to participate in the same program of instruction on an annual basis. However, teachers and administrators who have completed the program of instruction must annually participate in instruction regarding updates and new developments, if any, in the subject matter contained in this section." /
Amend the bill, as and if amended, page 3, beginning on line 27, in Section 59-17-140, as contained in SECTION 4, by striking lines 27 through 30 in their entirety and inserting therein the following:
/ experienced in matters of constitutional and public school law or the State Department of Education for review and comment. The attorney or the State Department of Education shall recommend appropriate changes for correcting any misapplication or misperception of applicable law regarding religion and the public schools. A model policy approved by the South Carolina School Boards Association meets the requirement of a policy reviewed by an attorney. The /
Renumber sections to conform.
Amend title to conform.
JAMES E. BRYAN, JR., for Committee.
EXPLANATION OF IMPACT:
Enactment of this bill would have no impact on the General Fund of the State nor on federal and/or other funds. The State Department of Education can include guidelines on religion and public schools on the department's website using existing resources.
Section 59-17-140 of the bill states that each school district shall submit its religion and public school policy to an attorney for review before final adoption. Assuming an attorney would take two hours to review a district's policy at an hourly rate of $200, the impact on each of the State's eight six school district's would be $400.
Office of State Budget
TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA RELIGION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS ACT OF 2000" INCLUDING PROVISIONS TO ADD SECTION 1-7-35 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHALL DESIGNATE ONE MEMBER OF HIS PROFESSIONAL STAFF AS THE "SOUTH CAROLINA RELIGION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS OFFICER" AND TO PROVIDE FOR THIS OFFICER'S DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES; TO ADD SECTION 59-17-135 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THIS STATE SHALL CONDUCT TRAINING FOR TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS DURING ANNUAL IN-SERVICE TRAINING REGARDING CONSTITUTIONALLY AND STATUTORILY PERMITTED SCHOOL RELIGIOUS EXERCISES AND EXPRESSIONS; AND TO ADD SECTION 59-17-140 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT BY JULY 1, 2001, SHALL ADOPT A RELIGION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS POLICY AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE CONTENTS OF THIS POLICY AND THE MANNER IN WHICH IT SHALL BE DEVELOPED.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. This act is known and may be cited as the "Religion and Public Schools Act of 2000".
SECTION 2. The South Carolina General Assembly finds that the free exercise of religion is integral to the intellectual, moral, civic, and ethical development of students in South Carolina. It further finds that this exercise of religion should find expression only in legally sound ways that do not violate the state and federal constitutional prohibitions against the establishment of religion.
Therefore, the South Carolina General Assembly has determined to enact the "Religion and Public Schools Act", which calls for the training of educators in how to recognize constitutional distinctions between individual free exercise of religion which the First Amendment protects and state establishment of religion which the First Amendment prohibits.
The purpose of the act is to promote a constitutionally sound understanding and a faithful compliance with the free exercise and establishment clauses of the federal and state constitutions as they apply to public school operations.
SECTION 3. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 59-17-135. (A) Effective July 1, 2001, each school district during annual in-service training shall provide a program of instruction for teachers and administrators in the essentials of constitutional protections and prohibitions as they relate to religion and public school operations. Subjects shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) student prayers;
(2) graduation prayers and baccalaureates;
(3) participation in or encouragement of religious activity by school officials;
(4) religion in school curriculum;
(5) religious content in student assignments;
(6) distribution and use of religious literature;
(7) student participation in religious events before and after school;
(8) religious persuasion versus religious harassment;
(9) religious holidays;
(10) permitted absences from objectionable lessons in religion;
(11) released time for religious instruction;
(12) teaching values;
(13) religious attire;
(14) Federal Equal Access Act;
(15) Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act;
(16) South Carolina Religious Freedom Act;
(17) other statutory and constitutional provisions regarding the establishment of religion and free exercise thereof, as they relate to a public school context;
(18) instruction on how to access legal advice concerning the establishment of religion and free exercise thereof in a public school context; and
(19) instruction on how to access the State Department of Education's guidelines on religion and the public schools on the department's website.
(B) Once a teacher or administrator has completed the program of instruction contained in this section, it is not necessary that they participate in the same program of instruction on an annual basis. However, such teachers and administrators who have completed the program of instruction shall annually participate in instruction regarding updates and new developments in the subject matter contained in this section."
SECTION 4. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 59-17-140. By July 1, 2001, each school district in the State shall adopt a Religion and Public Schools Policy. The policy shall provide for the free exercise of religion in district schools to the maximum extent permissible without conflicting with applicable federal and state constitutional and statutory provisions regarding the exercise and establishment of religion in public schools. The policy shall specifically address the subjects contained in Section 59-17-135. Each district's policy shall be updated as necessary. Before adoption of the policy or any update of it, each school district shall submit the policy to an attorney experienced in matters of constitutional and public school law for review and comment. The attorney shall recommend appropriate changes for correcting any misapplication or misperception of applicable law regarding religion and the public schools. The adoption of the final policy or update shall be in the discretion of the school district board of trustees."
This web page was last updated on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 9:29 A.M.