Virginia legislature passes bill protecting student religious expression
February 28, 2014
The Virginia legislature has passed legislation that would permit students to “voluntarily pray or engage in religious activities or religious expression before, during, and after the school day in the same manner and to the same extent that students may engage in nonreligious activities or expression.”
The legislation would also allow students to “wear clothing, accessories, or jewelry that display religious messages or religious symbols in the same manner and to the same extent that other types of clothing, accessories, and jewelry are permitted.” School districts would be required not to “discriminate against a student's voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint” in a graduation speech.
The measure passed by margins of 64-34 in the state house and 20-18 in the state senate. The Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot reported that Gov. Terry McAuliffe is expected to veto the measure.
- Student prayer bill is approved but faces likely veto (Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot)
- Full text of bill (State of Virginia)