Baxley comments on school Religious Liberties bill

Here’s the first public comment Sen. Dennis Baxley has made concerning the “Florida Student and School Personnel Religious Liberties Act” he and Rep. Kim Daniels filed in their respective chambers: Florida Senate to consider public school ‘religious liberties’ bill

The bill would allow religious clothing and jewelry. It would also allow “religious expression” in coursework, and also allow for prayer groups and “religious gatherings” that could be organized at any time a commensurate (and undefined) secular activity is permitted, including during the school day.

When we pointed out that the broad definition of “religious expression” left an opening for an anti-American strain of Islam, Baxley noted that “religious liberty does run that risk factor.”

To that end, Baxley said that “more safeguards” may be needed. These would be worked out in the committee and amendment process, he suggested.

The potential pitfalls, Baxley suggested, are outweighed by the benefits, such as “free religious speech” and “expression of faith.”

“The bill leads [us] in a good direction,” Baxley said, though clearly there is room for refinement.