- Associated Press - Thursday, March 16, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska lawmakers have advanced a bill that would lift Nebraska’s ban on public school teachers wearing religious garb such as habits, hijabs and yarmulkes in the classroom.

Senators voted 41-1 Thursday to send the bill to a final vote. Speaker Jim Scheer says he introduced the measure so public schools don’t punish teachers for what they wear. He learned about the issue after a nun was rejected for a substitute teaching job in Norfolk.

It would repeal a ban enacted in 1919 under pressure from the Ku Klux Klan. Thirty-six other states had similar bans, and all but Nebraska and Pennsylvania have repealed them.

Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha was the sole no vote on the bill. He says all displays of religion are inappropriate in public school classrooms.

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