OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Legislation to allow public school students to leave school for one hour each week for religious instruction passes the state House after impassioned debate.
The measure passed 70-to-25 in spite of opponents who said public schools students need to remain in classes the entire school day to learn the core curriculum that's required for them to graduate from an Oklahoma high school.
Marlow state Representative Ray McCarter noted Tuesday that many public schools have clubs in which students can pray and receive religious instruction.
But Del City state Representative Kevin Calvey says the issue is about what he said was discrimination against Christians. During debate, Calvey accused the American Civil Liberties Union and the Supreme Court of forcing prayer out of public schools.
The measure now goes to the state Senate, where similar measures have been killed in recent years.