Religious Chaplains to Replace School Counselors in Texas

May 25, 2023

Professor Robert Tuttle

WASHINGTON (May 25, 2023)- On Tuesday, May 23rd Texas lawmakers failed to pass the proposed bill that would require the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every classroom in the state. However, on Wednesday, May 24th the suggested bill for school districts to have the option to replace licensed school counselors with religious chaplains is set to be signed into law.

In June 2022, the Supreme Court in Kennedy v Bremerton School District ruled in favor of Kennedy- who was praying privately with students. The court ruled that the school district discriminated against Kennedy and his religious beliefs. Since that decision, lawmakers across the country have introduced new bills with the potential to blur the lines between the separation of church and state.

If you would like more context on the highest court set to decide Groff v DeJoy before the end of the 2022-2023 term,  the wake of religious doctrine being introduced into government and candidates utilizing religion as the forefront of their campaigns please consider Robert Tuttle, David R. and Sherry Kirchner Berz Research Professor of Law and Religion. Tuttle has nearly three decades of teaching in Religion and Law and has co-authored numerous articles and reports in the fields of church-state law and legal ethics. Additionally, Tuttle serves as legal counsel, a consultant, and a Senior Fellow for organizations throughout the country.

Tuttle has been quoted in a variety of publications to discuss similar matters over the years.

Tuttle and colleague, Ira C Lupu co-authored in scholarly journal in 2023,  The Remains of the Establishment Clause, “We show how a Free Exercise-based conception of religious distinctiveness generates significant advantages for religious individuals (including staff in public schools) and institutions while simultaneously insulating them from state control. Government, once subject to a distinctive limitation on promoting or sponsoring religion, now must afford religion distinctive privileges.”

If you would like to speak with Prof. Tuttle, please contact GW Media Relations Specialist Shannon Mitchell at [email protected].