A contentious religious expression bill was passed by the Kentucky House on Monday with Franklin County’s representatives voting in opposition of each other.
The bill sponsored by Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, allows students to voluntarily express their religious and political views both in public schools and higher-education institutions — a right some House Democrats, including Rep. Derrick Graham, said is already protected under the U.S. Constitution.
Several House Democrats from Louisville and Shively joined Graham in opposing the bill. Rep. James Kay, D-Versailles, who represents part of Franklin County, supported it.
“I have not gotten any contact from my constituents or from across the state that says they’ve been restricted. If you think about whether it’s in higher ed or high school or middle school, one of the things that the teachers are wanting to do is to engage students in what we call critical thinking and discussions,” Graham said. “ I think this bill is in violation of the Constitution. People are not being restricted from practicing their faith. As a social studies teacher, I know for a fact that religious classes are taking place in their world civilization (classes) that’s in the curriculum.”