Trump extends protections for student religious liberty

By Family Research Council,

Family Research Council applauds President Trump’s announcement that his administration will protect religious organizations and reinforce the freedom of public school students across the country to pray and express their religious beliefs. Local education agencies receiving federal education funding under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) must certify in writing to its state educational agency that “it has no policy that prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in public schools as detailed in this updated guidance.” The administration also issued nine proposed rules that protect religious organizations from being discriminated against by the federal government.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement:

“President Trump and his administration are taking on the bullies that have been intimidating school officials and bullying students with their often baseless lawsuits. No longer will students have to stand alone in their defense of their religious freedom as these anti-faith organizations seek to rob students in public schools of any form of religious expression. He is also stepping up to protect religious organizations from government discrimination. This is a president who is putting freedom back in Religious Freedom Day.

“For years, we’ve watched secularists pressure school administrators into telling students that they can’t pray, read their Bibles, or talk about their faith in class. Some school officials are willing participants in the secularists’ intimidation campaign while others fear the lack of funding to fight threatened lawsuits. Now the tables are turned. The onus is now on states to certify that they are compliant with U.S. Department of Education guidelines which protect students’ religious freedom. If schools fail to protect religious freedom, they now run the risk of losing federal funding.

“With this and his other announced rules, President Trump is continuing the drumbeat of religious freedom and the long march toward restoring religious freedom in the public square. No doubt, his announcement today will further galvanize both the attention and support of people of faith,” concluded Perkins.

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