TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Contending there has been a “chilling effect” on religion, the Florida Senate passed a bill that says school districts may not discriminate against any student, parent or school employee because they shared their religious viewpoint.
The Senate passed the bill Thursday on a 23-13 vote. A similar bill is moving in the House.
Backers of the legislation contend it would send a message to school districts that have gone too far in restricting free speech. The measure would allow students to display jewelry, like a cross, or wear clothing that conveys a religious viewpoint.
Senate President Joe Negron has agreed the bill would allow followers of Islam to wear hijabs in schools.
Critics, however, say it could allow a crackdown on science teachers who teach evolution.
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