PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A non-profit organization is claiming policies at local school districts are violating students’ First Amendment rights.
Nearly a dozen local school districts were among the 55 statewide that received letters asking them to change school policies that violate the constitutional right of students to express religious beliefs.
Those letters were sent by the Independence Law Center in Harrisburg.
“A lot of these policies have provisions that state you can’t promote your own religious beliefs, and you can’t talk about them being superior to other beliefs,” said Jeremy Samek with the law center.
Samek said students can talk about their sports teams, politicians and environmental issues, but religious issues are treated differently.
“At the end of the day, we think that schools should be a place where students are able to talk about their differences of opinion and beliefs and learn how to do it in a civil and respectful way,” Samek said.
So far, out of the 55 districts, 17 have responded saying they would remove the offensive language.
Samek said Pine-Richland High School responded.
The center is still waiting to hear from Hampton, Mt. Lebanon and Wilkinsburg, who all say they are reviewing the policies.