Ohio Law Will Let Students Answer Questions Wrong Based On Religion

Religious Students Can’t Be Penalized For Scientifically Incorrect Schoolwork In New Bill

Elementary student examining molecule model
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The bill allows students to answer questions based on religious beliefs, rather than scientific fact

On Wednesday, the Ohio House passed the “Student Religious Liberties Act,” which, if passed by the Senate, states that students can’t be penalized if their test answers and schoolwork are scientifically wrong as long as the reasoning is because of their religious beliefs.

Instead, lawmakers want students to be graded on substance and relevance rather than on what has been scientifically proven in history. The bill, which passed 61 to 31 in the Republican-dominated legislative chamber, will now move on to the GOP-controlled Senate where it will likely be upheld.

“No board of education of a school district shall adopt any policy or rule respecting or promoting an establishment of religion or prohibiting any pupil from the free, individual, and voluntary exercise or expression of the pupil’s religious beliefs in any primary or secondary school,” the bill stated in part.

This means students can engage in religious expression in terms of how they answer test questions, on homework assignments, and in their artwork and prohibits public schools from rewarding or penalizing a student based on how they answer a question.