A proposal in Ohio would allow students to be exempted from answering questions correctly in school if their wrong answers conform with their personal religious beliefs.
According to Local 12 News in Cincinnati, the proposal has already been passed as a bill in the Ohio state House of Representatives. It now goes to the Republican-led Senate, where, if passed, it would move onto Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s office for his signature.
There’s no indication of whether the Senate or DeWine support the bill as yet.
The bill reads in part that “assignment grades and scores…shall not penalize or reward a student based on the religious content of a student’s work.”
No school under Ohio’s public school system, including STEM-based charter schools, “shall prohibit a student from engaging in religious expression in the completion of homework, artwork, or other written or oral assignments,” the bill also states.
In essence, a student wouldn’t be penalized if their answers were scientifically wrong, even if they’re in a science class or science-based school. Instead, the grade would focus on the relevance of their answers.
Science is traumatizing => Ohio House passes bill allowing student answers to be scientifically wrong due to religion https://t.co/baLeybL7Ux
— Stan Veuger (@stanveuger) November 14, 2019
The measure “comes at a critical time in the culture and protects the right of Christian and non-Christian students alike to freely exercise their faith,” said Aaron Baer, president of Citizens for Community Value, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
But opponents of the bill say it’s not needed. Rep. Phillip Robinson, Democratic lawmaker, says that while he can “appreciate the sentiment” behind the proposal, the bill is won’t improve students’ livelihoods more than Ohio schools already do. “We already protect religious expression” in schools, he said.