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Hightower Introduces 'Georgia Student Religious Act Of 2014'

District 68 State Representative Dustin Hightower this week introduced a house bill that he says is designed to put “faith back in our schools.”
“This bill would provide a legal avenue for voluntary student expression of religious viewpoints in public schools,” Hightower told WLBB Radio Monday. “Additionally, the legislation provides for religious expression in class assignments.”
Hightower says his proposal would allow local school systems to provide students with the freedom to organize religious groups and activities; and would allow for voluntary student-led prayer to take place before school, during announcements, athletic events and graduation ceremonies.
He says he hopes the bill will give some school systems “the courage to continue allowing students to pray and let those schools that gave up on traditions to reestablish those traditions.”
The two school systems in Haralson County were each recently threatened with a lawsuit relating to prayers associated with their football teams. Hightower—who is an attorney—says his bill mirrors legislation introduced in Texas in 2007 and in Mississippi last year; and he claims neither of those bills have been found to be unconstitutional.
“Currently, it seems as though students would have more of a right to burn a bible than they would to read a bible—and what I am trying to do is just level that playing field,” Hightower said. “I think that students who want to profess their faith should have as much rights and liberties as those students who chose not to profess their faith. This bill would allow schools the ability to stand up against the threat of lawsuits if the school continues to allow students to lead certain prayers over the intercom, at football games or graduation.”
Hightower says the Georgia Student Religious Liberties Act of 2014 currently has 60 co-sponsors from both political parties.
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People : Dustin Hightower