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OK governor signs bill to protect student 'release time' for religious instruction

Girl in a jean jacket reading the Bible

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Greg Chafuen regarding Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s signing Wednesday of HB 1425, a bill that protects the right of parents to have their child briefly excused from school to receive religious instruction during the school day if they so choose:

“Parents have the right and responsibility to guide the upbringing and education of their children. And many parents consider religious instruction an important part of their child’s education. While public schools can teach about the Bible from a neutral, secular perspective, release-time programs offer religious courses taught by third-party charitable organizations off school grounds during school hours. These programs accommodate parents’ desire for their children to receive religious instruction that public schools cannot provide. Even the Supreme Court has approved of release-time programs saying that a state ‘follows the best of our traditions’ when it ‘encourages religious instruction or cooperates with religious authorities’ to accommodate religion. This legislation ensures that every Oklahoman knows that the law respects their right to seek religious education for their children through these time-tested programs. We commend the Oklahoma Legislature and Gov. Stitt for making sure parents are in the driver’s seat to direct the upbringing and education of their kids.”

  • Pronunciation guide: Chafuen (CHAFF’-wen)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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Greg Chafuen
Greg Chafuen
Legal Counsel
Greg Chafuen serves as legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom’s Center for Public Policy.