Rep. John Bartlett’s efforts to eliminate religious discrimination in schools prevails

February 27, 2017 John Bartlett

For immediate release:
Feb. 27, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – Members of the Indiana House today passed legislation authored by State Representative John Bartlett (D-Indianapolis) that intends to eliminate discrimination in schools based on religious views.

House Bill 1024 allows students to express their religious beliefs in their homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination.

This bill also allows students to pray or engage in religious activities or expressions before, during, and after the school day.

In addition, students will be able to wear clothing, accessories, and jewelry that displays religious messages or symbols.

It also requires the State Department of Education, in collaboration with the Attorney General’s office and organizations with expertise in religious civil liberties, to establish a model policy for all schools.

This legislation allows each school corporation to offer an elective course that teaches about various religions around the world.

“House Bill 1024 only puts prayer back into schools. It does not mandate or force students to participate in it,” said Bartlett. “It is giving Hoosiers the ability to express their faith without fearing discrimination.

“It also brings clarification to the First Amendment which allows people to practice their faith. However, it restricts you from forcing your faith on others,” Bartlett added.

House Bill 1024 passed the Indiana House with a vote of 83 to 12. It will now move to the Senate for further consideration.