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Standridge header credit oklahoma senate.jpg
Oklahoma Senate
Senator Rob Standridge thumb credit Oklahoma senate.jpg
Oklahoma Senate
USA News

Teachers face $10K fines for contradicting student's religious beliefs in new Bill

by Heather Preston

A new Bill to protect the religious beliefs of students from contrary teaching has had its first hearing in Oklahoma.

Introduced by Republican Senator Rob Standridge, the Students' Religious Belief Protection Act would allow educators to be sued a minimum of $10,000 (£7,300) for teaching anything that contradicts a pupil's religious belief.

The proposed legislation heard on Monday would give parents the power to remove any teaching material perceived as anti-religious. 

It states: "No public school of this state [...] shall employ or contract with a person that promotes positions in the classroom or at any function of the public school that is in opposition to closely held religious beliefs of students."

The controversial Bill has raised concerns that this could leave topics such as LGBT+ issues, evolution, the big bang theory and birth control on the shelf.

Under the legislation, teachers would face personal fines of $10,000 upwards "per incident, per individual" with those unable to foot the bill being fired from their job.

Senator Standridge says the Bill, which doesn't specify which religious beliefs will be used to prosecute offending teachers requires "emergency" implementation for the "preservation of the public peace, health or safety."

If passed by the Education committee, the law will take immediate effect in the state of Oklahoma.

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