- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A proposal in Ohio seeks to ensure that public school students who want to express their religious viewpoints can get the same access to school facilities as secular student groups.

A House committee approved the measure after its second hearing on Wednesday.

The bill would remove a provision in law that lets school districts limit the exercise or expression of religion to lunch periods or other non-instructional time periods. Students could engage in religious expression before, during, and after school hours to the same extent that a student may take part in secular activities at such times.

The bill also would prohibit schools from disallowing religious expression in class assignments.

Under the legislation, religious expression includes prayer, religious gatherings, distribution of written literature and other religious activities.

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