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Sponsors: Reps. Loftis, Bedingfield, Nanney, Toole, Spires, Delleney, Frye, Hamilton, Owens, Rice, Scott, D.C. Smith, G.R. Smith, Stringer, Williams, Wylie and Millwood
Document Path: l:\council\bills\nbd\11389bh09.docx
Companion/Similar bill(s): 134
Introduced in the House on April 1, 2009
Currently residing in the House Committee on Judiciary
Summary: Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4/1/2009 House Introduced and read first time HJ-102 4/1/2009 House Referred to Committee on Judiciary HJ-102 2/2/2010 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Millwood
View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 59-1-435 SO AS TO ENACT THE "RELIGIOUS VIEWPOINTS ANTIDISCRIMINATION ACT" WHICH PROHIBITS A SCHOOL DISTRICT FROM DISCRIMINATING AGAINST A STUDENT BASED ON RELIGIOUS VIEWPOINT, ALLOWS A STUDENT TO EXPRESS HIS RELIGIOUS VIEWPOINT, ALLOWS A STUDENT TO EXPRESS HIS RELIGIOUS BELIEFS IN HOMEWORK AND CLASSROOM ASSIGNMENTS, AND ALLOWS STUDENTS TO ORGANIZE AND PARTICIPATE IN RELIGIOUS STUDENT GATHERINGS TO THE SAME EXTENT AS SECULAR NONCURRICULAR GROUPS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 5, Chapter 1, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 59-1-435. (A) This section may be cited as the 'Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act'.
(B) As used in this section, 'discriminate' means to make a distinction in favor of or against a person on the basis of the group, class, or category to which the person belongs, rather than according to actual merit.
(C) A school district shall treat a student's voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject in the same manner the district treats a student's voluntary expression of a secular or other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject and must not discriminate against the student based on a religious viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject.
(D) A student may express his beliefs about religion in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of his submission. Homework and classroom assignments must be judged by ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance and against other legitimate pedagogical concerns identified by the school district. A student may not be penalized or rewarded based on the religious content of his work.
(E) Students may organize prayer groups, religious clubs, 'see you at the pole' gatherings, or other religious gatherings before, during, and after school to the same extent that students are permitted to organize other noncurricular student activities and groups. Religious groups, including those led by individuals other than students, must be given the same access to school facilities for assembling as is given to other noncurricular groups without discrimination based on the religious content of the students' expression. If student groups that meet for nonreligious activities are permitted to advertise or announce meetings of the groups, the school district must not discriminate against groups that meet for prayer or other religious speech. A school district may disclaim school sponsorship of noncurricular groups and events in a manner that neither favors nor disfavors groups that meet to engage in prayer or religious speech."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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