Friday, September 25, 2020
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The Villages

Safeguarding students’ right to pray

Congressman Daniel Webster

Religious freedom is one of the precious freedoms Americans enjoy.

Last week, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, working with the White House, released a proposed rule that will safeguard and protect the constitutional rights of religious organizations, faith-based institutions and students on campuses across our country. Under the proposed guidelines, public intuitions of higher learning must ensure faith-based student organizations have the freedom of association that is guaranteed to them under the First Amendment.

This would forbid public universities from denying gathering spaces to faith-based organizations that are offered to secular student organizations.

The Department of Education also issued new guidance on constitutionally protected prayer in elementary and secondary schools.

States will be required to report complaints against local educational agencies that allegedly deny a student or employee the right to pray, which is protected under the Constitution.

The guidance also affirms that students may read religious texts or pray during recess, organize prayer groups on campus, and express their religious beliefs in school assignments.

Congressman Daniel Webster represents The Villages in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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