1997 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Little, Bean, Browning, Burton, Canon, Carlton, Carter, Cuevas, Dearing, Dickerson, Farris, Ferris, Frazier, Furniss, Gollott, Gordon, Gunn, Hall, Hamilton, Harden, Harvey, Hawks, Hewes, Horhn, Huggins, Jackson, Johnson (19th), Jordan (24th), Jordan (18th), Kirby, Lee, Mettetal, Minor, Moffatt, Nunnelee, Posey, Rayborn, Robertson, Scoper, Smith, Stogner, Thames, Tollison, Turner, Walls, White (29th), White (5th), Woodfield
Senate Bill 2655
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO PRESCRIBE THOSE RELIGIOUS MATTERS THAT, IN THE DISCRETION OF THE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD, MAY BE PROPERLY INCLUDED IN PUBLIC SCHOOL COURSES OF STUDY; TO AUTHORIZE HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS AND WRITINGS TO BE POSTED AND READ IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, NOTWITHSTANDING RELIGIOUS REFERENCES IN SUCH DOCUMENTS AND WRITINGS; TO REQUIRE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO DISTRIBUTE A COPY OF THIS ACT TO EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Nothing in this code shall be construed to prevent any local school board, in its discretion, from allowing references to religion or references to or the use of religious literature, history, art, music or other things having a religious significance in the public schools of such school district, when such references or uses do not constitute aid to any religious sect or sectarian purpose and when such references or uses are incidental to or illustrative of matters properly included in the course of study.
SECTION 2. Any teacher, administrator, school council or local school board in any public school district in this state may post in a public school building, classroom or at any school event or read from any historical document or writing relating to the founding of the United States of America or this state, or both, notwithstanding the fact that such materials may include religious quotations, references or illustrations. There shall be no content-based censorship of American or Mississippi History, heritage or culture based on any religious references contained in such documents, writings or records.
SECTION 3. The State Department of Education shall distribute a copy of this act to each school district; each school superintendent then shall distribute a copy to all teachers and administrators.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.