Oregon lawmakers may repeal ban on teachers' classroom religious garb

A law from an anti-Catholic era
Teachers in Oregon are likely to win the right to wear religious clothing such as turbans, yarmulkes and headscarves in public schools when state lawmakers convene in February, elected officials say.

Oregon’s relatively unusual prohibition on teachers’ religious garb dates to a shameful anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic period in state history and is overdue to be changed, said state House Speaker Dave Hunt.

Hunt plans to introduce a bill to repeal the 1923 law and said he is optimistic it will pass, given the broad spectrum of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs who support the change.

State labor commissioner Brad Avak ian and Oregon schools superintendent Susan Castillo recently sent every lawmaker a letter urging them to end the ban on religious dress for teachers.

 

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