Another resource for students

Another resource for students

Another resource for students

A family-focused policy council is working on getting chaplains in Florida's public schools.

Opponents of the effort argue that religion is something that should be left to individuals to participate in after school hours, but the Florida Legislature has sent to Governor Ron DeSantis (R) a bill that could allow volunteer chaplains in schools.

Aaron DiPietro, legislative affairs director for the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC), says his team is excited and grateful for the bill's progress.

"We worked on supporting this legislation through the process," he asserts.

He says the measure includes components of local control and religious liberty protections, and it basically makes clear that school districts are absolutely allowed to create volunteer chaplaincy programs.

DiPietro, Aaron (FFPC) DiPietro

"There is a parental consent piece of this as well to make sure that parents are involved in volunteering or allowing their children to participate in the volunteer chaplaincy program," DiPietro details.

It would allow the faith community to provide counseling and encouragement to young people.

"We really think that this legislation covers a lot of the bases that need to be addressed," the FFPC legislative affairs director submits.

The only requirements of a chaplain participating in a school program would be a background check and having their name and religious affiliation listed on the school website. The chaplains would "provide support, services, and programs to students as assigned by the district school board," the bill reads.

Schools would have to publish online the names and religions of chaplains picked to participate in the program, and parents would have to give permission before children could meet with them.