OF THE GOVERNOR
R i c k P e r r y
June 11, 2007
Gov. Perry Signs Religious
Viewpoint Anti-Discrimination Act
AUSTIN – Governor Rick Perry today signed into law House Bill
3678, the Religious Viewpoint Anti-Discrimination Act. HB 3678
clarifies a student’s right to religious expression in school
and creates a model policy for district adoption.
“Education is about open-mindedness and learning from one
another’s thoughts and philosophies,” said Perry. “Therefore we
cannot – and should not – shield or discourage our children from
expressing religious views in school. Stifling discussion in
order to appease a secular-only environment will prevent
students from growing both academically and personally.”
Though the United States Supreme Court holds religious
discussion in schools permissible, some Texas schools have been
misapplying the law and restricting student’s legal expression.
This may be due to outdated school policy or an unintended
consequence of efforts to promote a neutral learning
HB 3678 requires school districts to adopt and implement a
policy establishing a limited public forum for student speakers
at school events. The bill provides a model policy that
districts may directly adopt or use for reference.
Policies must contain language which:
Protects a student from being punished due to expressing a
religious viewpoint verbally or in a class assignment
Creates guidelines for student speakers at graduation
ceremonies and other school-wide events
Allows students to organize religious groups and activities
HB 3678 takes effect September 1, 2007.