COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Republican-dominated Ohio House has approved a bill expanding religious freedom in public schools and allowing students to engage in religious expression in their school assignments.

The measure was sent to the Senate on Wednesday after a 61-31 vote.

The bill would remove a current provision limiting expressions of religious beliefs by public school students to lunch and non-instructional periods and would allow them to gather as students do for secular activities.

It also says schools can’t prohibit students from religious expression in homework, artwork or other assignments and teachers cannot penalize or reward work based on its religious content.

Republican sponsor Rep. Timothy Ginter told work that should be graded using ordinary academic standards and assignments could still receive a lesser grade if they don’t reflect what’s being taught.

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