Senate endorses measure to “protect” the religious freedom of students in the public system

Senate endorses measure to “protect” the religious freedom of students in the public system

He Senate approved this Tuesday, by download and without discussion in public hearing, a legislation – presented in the House of Representatives at the request of a group of pastors – presumably aimed at preventing discrimination against religious expressions in public schools.

He House Bill 1951 received 15 votes in favor and four against. The latter were issued by Ana Irma Rivera Lassen and Rafael Bernabe, from the Citizen Victory Movement; Javier Aponte Dalmau, spokesperson for the Popular Democratic Party (PPD); and the independent Jose Vargas Vidot.

Senators Rosamar Trujillo and Hector Santiago, of the PPD, requested to abstain from the vote, while the spokesperson for the Puerto Rican Independence Party, Maria de Lourdes Santiago, as well as the popular Ada Garcia Montes, were absent.

During the session, The Senate amended the measure to include language stating that “no student will be forced to participate in religious expression activities.”. He also provided that, in accordance with the constitutional clauses of separation of Church and State, the “Education deparmentincluding teaching and non-teaching staff, may not promote religious activities or expressions.”

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