David Fidanque, Executive Director of the ACLU of Oregon, was on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s morning talk show, Think Out Loud, February 10th, discussing the Oregon law that prohibits public school teachers from wearing religious dress in the classroom.
HB 3686, a bill to repeal the ban, passed the Oregon House on February 10th and will now go to the Senate. If approved, the new Oregon law would repeal the current law. If you want to listen to the program, go to Think Out Loud on OPB’s web site.
Religious activity in public schools is a core concern of the ACLU and we believe that the legislature should not move forward in the February 2010 session to repeal the law that prohibits public school teachers from wearing religious dress in the classroom. Without more careful consideration of the legal and practical implications, it would be premature to change Oregon law.
The ACLU is therefore opposed to passage of HB 3686 A-Eng. at this time.
If HB 3686 fails to pass in February, the ACLU of Oregon is committed to continued analysis and discussions with proponents of the bill in the coming months. However, until that further analysis and dialogue can take place the ACLU will oppose the effort to repeal the religious dress law in February 2010.