HB1334 (2020) Detail

Relative to religious activities of teachers and students in public schools.


HB 1334 - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2020 SESSION

20-2440

06/04

 

HOUSE BILL 1334

 

AN ACT relative to religious activities of teachers and students in public schools.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Cordelli, Carr. 4; Rep. M. Pearson, Rock. 34; Rep. Doucette, Rock. 8; Rep. Burns, Hills. 23; Rep. Salloway, Straf. 5; Rep. Baldasaro, Rock. 5; Rep. Notter, Hills. 21; Sen. Giuda, Dist 2

 

COMMITTEE: Education

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill:

 

I.  Permits a school district to authorize a moment of silence during the school day.

 

II.  Prohibits a school district from interfering with the right of students and teachers to pray on school grounds during the school day to the extent they may engage in nonreligious activities.

 

III.  Permits a school district to provide certain instruction related to religion.

 

IV.  Permits certain student-organized religious clubs or activities.

 

V.  Permits school employees to engage in certain religious activities.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

20-2440

06/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT relative to religious activities of teachers and students in public schools.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Lord's Prayer in Public Elementary Schools; Moment of Silence.  RSA 194:15-a is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

194:15-a  Moment of Silence in Public Schools.  A school district shall authorize a period of time during the school day for a moment of silence.  Each student may, in the exercise of his or her individual choice, meditate, pray, or engage in any other silent activity which does not interfere with, distract, or impede other pupils in the like exercise of individual choice.

2  Freedom of Assembly; Freedom of Religion.  RSA 189:1-b is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

189:1-b  Freedom of Assembly; Freedom of Religion.

I.  No school district shall infringe upon the right of students or teachers to pray or engage in other forms of religious expression or observation on school grounds before, during, and after the school day in the same manner and to the same extent that students may engage in nonreligious activities or expression.

II.  A school district may provide instruction related to religion, including the influences of religion on history, literature, and other subject areas, when presented in a neutral manner and when serving a valid, secular educational purpose and not promoting religious beliefs or practices.

III.  Student-organized religious clubs or activities shall be permitted:

(a)  To organize and meet before, during, and after school to the same extent that other student-organized clubs or activities are permitted to organize and meet;

(b)  To advertise or announce meetings, including meetings that involve prayer or religious speech, in the same manner that other student-organized clubs or activities are permitted to advertise or announce meetings; and

(c)  To have access to facilities, funding, and any other privileges or benefits available to all student groups on an equal basis.

IV.  School employees may, during contract time:

(a)  Engage in religious expression and discussions and share religious materials with other employees at the same times and in the same manner that employees are permitted to engage in non-religious expression and discussions;

(b)  Serve as a sponsor of student-organized religious clubs and assist the students in planning meetings, activities, and events to the same extent that employee sponsors of non-religious clubs are permitted to do so; and

(c)  Take part in religious activities where the overall context makes clear that they are not participating in their official capacities.

V.  School employees may, during non-contract time, engage in religious expression and share religious materials to the same extent that other individuals are permitted to do so.

VI.  "Contract time", for the purposes of this section, means the time an employee is required to be on campus or at another designated location for the purpose of fulfilling the duties of his or her employment, or when an employee is otherwise acting as a designated representative of the public school.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Links

HB1334 at GenCourtMobile
HB1334 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 29, 2020 House Hearing
Feb. 25, 2020 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
March 11, 2020 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1334 Revision: 6941 Date: Dec. 2, 2019, 2:40 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Education HJ 1 P. 18
Jan. 29, 2020 Public Hearing: 01/29/2020 11:00 am LOB 207
Feb. 25, 2020 Executive Session: 02/25/2020 10:00 am LOB 207
March 11, 2020 Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/11/2020 (Vote 15-3; RC) HC 10 P. 47
Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 15-3; RC)
Minority Committee Report: Ought to Pass
March 12, 2020 Inexpedient to Legislate: MA RC 197-125 03/12/2020 HJ 8 P. 33