Bill on Religious Gatherings at School to be Reviewed This Week

A bill moving through the Tennessee General Assembly aims to restrict local school boards from prohibiting teachers and other school personnel from participating in student-led religious gatherings on school grounds, but it would have no effect on rules prohibiting such activities in Sumner County Schools should it become law. Sumner County Schools settled a case involving such activities in December, approving a consent decree that strictly spells out school personnel may not promote religious beliefs in class or in conjunction with a school event or participate in a religious service or activity while acting in official capacity. HB 3266 is sponsored by Rep. Phillip Johnson, R-Pegram, and co-sponsored by Hendersonville State Rep. Debra Maggart, passed 93-0 in the House on March 1. The companion bill, SB 3060, is expected to be reviewed in the Senate’s Education Committee March 14. The Tennessean has more.