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Blog: FLorida's Religious Expression In Public Schools law.

Abstract:  The 2017 FL legislature passed and Gov. Scott signed the:
New bill effective July 1, 2017.  Religious Expression in Public Schools, Senate Bill 436 (2017) - The Florida Senate - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2017. GENERAL BILL by Baxley ; (CO-INTRODUCERS) Steube ; Mayfield ; Stargel ; Campbell ; Brandes ; Broxson | Religious Expression in Public Schools; Citing this act as the "Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act"; prohibiting a school district from discriminating against students, parents, or school personnel on the basis of religious viewpoints or expression; prohibiting penalty or reward for a student’s religious expression in coursework, artwork, or other specified assignments; requiring a school district to comply with the federal requirements in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, etc.  The law is here and known as:  Chapter No. 2017-74 < The complete 3 page PDF - EVERY STUDENT AND PARENT SHOULD READ IT, PRINT IT AND CARRY IT.  (If you don't want it printed on 3 full size pages, try printing these two pdf's on opposite sides of 1 page; then fold.  ../2017-74FL-FreeExpressionInSchoolsPg1of2.pdf  and  ../2017-74FL-FreeExpressionInSchoolsPg2of2.pdf .)
The text of paragraph (4)(c) says:
   (c)  A school district shall give a religious group access to the same school facilities for assembling as given to secular groups without discrimination based on the religious content of the group’s expression.  A group that meets for prayer or other religious speech may advertise or announce its meetings in the same manner and to the same extent that a secular group may advertise or announce its meetings.
The text of paragraph (6) says:
   (6)  The Department of Education shall develop model policy regarding a limited public forum and voluntary expression of religious viewpoints by students and school personnel in public schools pursuant to this section.  The department shall publish the model policy on its website.  Each district school board shall adopt and implement the department’s model policy. 
This web page is to Blog email correspondence to our state legislators and administrators regarding the development of a "model policy regarding a limited public forum and voluntary expression of religious viewpoints by students and school personnel".  For example the citizens of Pinellas County petitioned the school board on adopting a model school board policy regarding religion which was adopted and became Section 2270, Religion in the Curriculum (See page 157 of this PDF: District Bylaws and Policies Manual (pdf) (Updated June 27, 2017)).  Which I believe has resulted in a lot less fear and intimidation as to what is legal or not regarding religion in Pinellas County Schools.

So the big question is by what process will the FL Dept. of ED. develop the  "model policy regarding a limited public forum and voluntary expression of religious viewpoints by students and school personnel".

Here are our current activities in chronological order.

08/??/17 Email (#3) to: The Honorable Jeff Brandes, State Senator, Dist. 22

08/10/17 1st Email (#1 & 2) of questions sent to Religious Liberty law's author FL Senator D. Baxley.

In the spring of 2017 The Honorable Larry Ahern, State Rep., Dist. 66 termed out.

Sincerely yours,

staff, Hisways™ USA, Inc.


  1. Gateways To Better Education home page and workshop links: 
  2. Sonya L. March Esq. is an Pinellas County resident and attorney affiliated with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)
  3. Other Hisways USA, Inc. Blogs in the series: 
    1. New bill effective July 1, 2017.Blog: FL's Religious Expression Law. Great law for students and school personnel.
    2. BLOG: CEUs for Faith, Freedom & Public School Education Workshop.  (Presented to some FL state representatives.)   /Blog_FFPS_EduCEUs/
    3. BLOG: Pinellas County FFPS: Faith, Freedom & Public School Education Workshop. (Presented to the Pinellas County School Board.)
      • 04/27/16, (PCSB-Wkshop em3) Rejection email of the Faith, Freedom and Public School Education Workshop from the local School Board Attorney.  How many other Florida school board attorneys have the same excuses?
    4. A Few Thoughts On Alternative Theories or Assumptions That Should Be Taught In Public Schools.

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Miscellaneous statutes of interest that may apply.
Florida State Laws  http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes


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