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Religion rules at school approved by NC lawmakers

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A bill heading to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk attempts to make clear how public school students and staff can express religious beliefs.

The Senate gave final legislative approval Monday in a 48-1 vote to the measure explaining how schools should comply with federal law and guidance on constitutionally protected prayer.

The measure says students may share religious views and distribute religious literature, with reasonable restrictions. It says they can pray silently or aloud to the same extent students meditate or speak on non-religious matters. The bill also says school personnel and coaches involved in extracurricular activities "may adopt a respectful posture" during voluntary student-led prayer.

The bill was prompted after a McDowell County student was told to remove a reference to God in a poem for a Veterans Day observance.

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