Bill aims to protect students from religious discrimination

Bill aims to protect students from religious discrimination at school

Posted: Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Kendric Maple is a grad student at OU, and an NCAA Champion Wrestler, when it was time to get his ring last year -- he ran into some problems.

"I wanted to put a cross on it," said Maple, "and they denied it, saying that I couldn't because of separation of church and state, because they were paying for it." 1:59

Maple is Christian.  Maple says the cross represents his faith, and believes officials tried to deny his freedom of expression.

"I tried to appeal it," said Maple, "but they said there's nothing I could do about it."

Maple and his wife support Senate Bill 1142, also known as The Religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act.

"It's good for kids to keep religion incorporated in their lives," said Jordan Maple.

The bill-- allows students of all religious backgrounds to work their religion into school assignments, commencement speeches, and extra curricular activities without fear of repercussions.

"This will allow you to express your views but it will also protect the students if someone wants to challenge that," said Sen. Mark Allen (R-Spiro).  

Sen. Allen authored the bill, he says the legislation would protect schools from costly lawsuits by sending the cases to the Attorney General's Office.

"It won't be up on the school to pay the bill to defend that right," he said.

Although the bill's intention is to defend religious liberty and freedom of expression, opponents believe the bill could pose some problems.

"I don't think that Satanism should be in school," said Wallace Williams, an opponent to the bill.

Fox-25 Legal Analyst, David Slane says despite the bill's intention, opening the door to express religious views in an academic setting, could lead to more potential lawsuits.

"That's where you get into trouble," said Slane, "because the kids go home, and then parents get upset, and all of the sudden we have problems at school, that don't have anything to do with education."

Slane worries an act, intended to prevent discrimination, could lead to more bullying of students practicing a faith outside of Christianity.

"They are going to catch heck," he said, "they are going to get discriminated, based upon their religion."

But for many supporters of the bill, like Maple, there's no denying the role religion plays in their life outside of school.

"It's a big part of your life and to say you can't have that, going to school everyday is just ridiculous," said Maple.

The legislative session begins February 3.  

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Tools track kids' phone use

    Tools track kids' phone use

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:40 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:40:03 GMT
    Apps keep tabs on teensApps keep tabs on teens
    With so many teens and kids armed with smartphones, parents can often feel out of the loop and maybe even nervous about how their kids are using those devices. There are now more ways than ever before for parents to keep tabs. We asked the folks at Verizon to break down the best options. Lawrence Ross said, "With Family Base you can see who your children are talking to, when they're talking to them." At $5 a month, Family Base gives you alerts and email updates on exactly how your kids are ...
    With so many teens and kids armed with smartphones, parents can often feel out of the loop and maybe even nervous about how their kids are using those devices. There are now more ways than ever before for parents to keep tabs. We asked the folks at Verizon to break down the best options. Lawrence Ross said, "With Family Base you can see who your children are talking to, when they're talking to them." At $5 a month, Family Base gives you alerts and email updates on exactly how your kids are ...
  • Burglary suspect cuts self, leaves blood during Yukon break-in

    Burglary suspect cuts self, leaves blood during Yukon break-in

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:36:59 GMT
    A Yukon man hopes his home surveillance equipment helps with the arrest of a man he says broke into his home and cut himself in the process.
    A Yukon man hopes his home surveillance equipment helps with the arrest of a man he says broke into his home and cut himself in the process.
  • Spring in Oklahoma: storms develop in western Oklahoma, moving east

    Spring in Oklahoma: storms develop in western Oklahoma, moving east

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:16 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:16:47 GMT
    A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for western Oklahoma until 11PM Wednesday.  As of now, no part of this watch covers any part of the Metro. A severe thunderstorm watch means conditions for severe thunderstorms are possible, and we've already seen a few storms in western Oklahoma this evening.
    A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for western Oklahoma until 11PM Wednesday.  As of now, no part of this watch covers any part of the Metro. A severe thunderstorm watch means conditions for severe thunderstorms are possible, and we've already seen a few storms in western Oklahoma this evening.
  • More HeadlinesMore>>

  • Tools track kids' phone use

    Tools track kids' phone use

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:40 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:40:03 GMT
    Apps keep tabs on teensApps keep tabs on teens
    With so many teens and kids armed with smartphones, parents can often feel out of the loop and maybe even nervous about how their kids are using those devices. There are now more ways than ever before for parents to keep tabs. We asked the folks at Verizon to break down the best options. Lawrence Ross said, "With Family Base you can see who your children are talking to, when they're talking to them." At $5 a month, Family Base gives you alerts and email updates on exactly how your kids are ...
    With so many teens and kids armed with smartphones, parents can often feel out of the loop and maybe even nervous about how their kids are using those devices. There are now more ways than ever before for parents to keep tabs. We asked the folks at Verizon to break down the best options. Lawrence Ross said, "With Family Base you can see who your children are talking to, when they're talking to them." At $5 a month, Family Base gives you alerts and email updates on exactly how your kids are ...
  • Georgia governor signs gun law allowing guns in churches, schools

    Georgia governor signs gun law allowing guns in churches, schools

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 1:17 PM EDT2014-04-23 17:17:30 GMT
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a wide-ranging gun bill into law Wednesday that has critics howling and proponents applauding.
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a wide-ranging gun bill into law Wednesday that has critics howling and proponents applauding.
  • Man who avoided prison for 13 years seeks release

    Man who avoided prison for 13 years seeks release

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:54 AM EDT2014-04-23 08:54:31 GMT
    A St. Louis man who avoided prison because of a clerical error and led a law-abiding life for more than a decade before he was locked up last year is asking a Missouri judge to set him free.
    A St. Louis man who avoided prison because of a clerical error and led a law-abiding life for more than a decade before he was locked up last year is asking a Missouri judge to set him free.
  • FOX25 Slideshows

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Compiling list...
  • FOX 25 FeaturesMore>>

  • Tell Me Something Good

    Tell Me Something Good

    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
  • Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOKH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.