Georgia Lawmakers Look to Protect Religious Messages on Public School Uniforms

February 5, 2016 - School Uniform

Chestatee High School Football(Photo: Facebook/Chestatee High School Football)Chestatee High School Football team

Georgia lawmakers are now debating legislation that seeks to forestall state-funded schools from cultured opposite a eremite countenance of tyro athletes. 

House Bill 870 and Senate Bill 309 deliver banning state-funded schools from partnering with jaunty associations that don’t concede students to wear eremite messages on their jaunty uniforms.

The legislation was introduced in response to a Georgia High School Association [GHSA], that recently unfit a curtain in an Atlanta-area lane accommodate for wearing a wipe with a Bible hymn on it.

The GHSA had argued that all jaunty participants are compulsory to wear a same uniform, and therefore eremite clothes goes opposite their policy.

Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, who is co-sponsoring a Senate bill, pronounced during a new hearing that a occurrence involving a lane actor speedy him to deliver a legislation.

The student, Jones argued, “was only expressing his faith in his Creator,” adding that he found a student’s suspension “a small bit troubling.”

The dual bills, that lift identical language, state that “high schools that accept state appropriation can't attend in an jaunty organisation that prohibits eremite countenance on a wardrobe of tyro athletes.”

Representative Rick Allen, R-Augusta, combined in a matter to NBC 26 that a eremite leisure rights of students contingency be protected.

“Students should never feel fearful to share or wear their faith in fear they might be dangling or disqualified,” Allen told a internal media outlet.

“Their leisure of countenance is stable underneath a First Amendment-and a wipe with a Bible hymn is only about a many pacific proof of faith we have ever seen. If we are going to go to such extremes to strengthen a rights of those with opposite views than this student’s, we contingency also dedicate a same volume of bid in safeguarding his,” Allen added.

While a bills have perceived support opposite a state, generally from Republican lawmakers, members of a GHSA have argued that it is a sleazy slope to concede students to wear messages on their uniforms while competing in propagandize athletics.

“We’ve got to be careful,” Brooks Coleman, a House Education Committee Chairman and an central with a GHSA, recently told lawmakers, as reported by The Augusta Chronicle. 

“We only don’t wish to concede […] children to come out and write all kind of things on their bodies, all kinds of ornaments on their uniforms,” Coleman added. 

Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle has also uttered his opinion on a subject, essay an Op-Ed for The Calhoun Times that called a anathema an conflict on eremite freedom.

“Given there are no reserve issues or astray foe issues compared with this display, it’s tough to see GHSA’s movement as being anything other than an conflict on a giveaway practice of faith,” Cagle argued.

Along with final for eremite expression, Senate Bill 309 and House Bill 870 also call on state-funded schools to be taboo from exclusive certain nonmember schools from participating in jaunty matches.

The purpose of this partial of a bill, according to Rep. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough), is to concede rural, private schools to join matches with open schools in opposite tools of a state.

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