HB 425 would allow students to bully their peers in the name of "religious liberty."
The Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act, HB 425, would legalize bullying and harassment of students in public schools for any religiously motivated reason.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution already protects student speech, and these rights have been affirmed through various court cases over the years. This legislation would broaden the definition of "religious expression" so much that students could bully or harass their LGBT and nontheistic peers with impunity.
In one national report from 2011, 85% of LGBT students reported harassment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and nearly 20% reported "being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation."
Ohio needs to stop protecting bullies through unnecessary laws like HB 425. Tell your lawmakers to oppose this discriminatory bill.