Tennessee lawmakers are taking steps to protect the religious speech rights of students.
The state Senate has passed a bill to prevent discrimination against students expressing their religious beliefs.
The measure requires school districts to treat student religious speech the same as they would secular speech. Students would also have access to school facilities to organize student prayer groups and religious gatherings.
The measure passed the Tennessee Senate unanimously, but one opponent abstained from the vote. Democratic Sen. Beverly Marrero of Memphis questioned whether the bill is "trying to make schools similar to Sunday schools."
A similar bill is awaiting a vote in the state House.