Religious Freedom in Schools and Other New Laws

August 16, 2023

By:  Jeff Blankenship

New laws related to child abuse, drugs, gambling, mental health, gender services, education, and dozens of other topics took effect at the end of June after receiving a nod from the Kentucky General Assembly earlier this year.

In a renewed effort to increase a teacher’s ability to freedom of religious expression in public schools, House Bill 547 codifies religious freedoms for public school teachers, faculty and staff, including the right to engage in religious expression and prayer during breaks and to display religious items in personal spaces.  Read Full Article Here

This means that teachers and staff in public schools may have “off curriculum” authority to pray, read scripture (the Bible or the Koran, for example) when NOT engaged publicly and to publicly display religious articles.  Importantly, however, this statute doesn’t change the prohibition against engaging in PUBLIC religious displays which implicates the participation of others.

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