Published On: Thu, Mar 30th, 2017

Schools, Columbus Day being considered by Unicameral

LINCOLN–In the last week of legislative hearings, several more bills were heard by committees and legislators established new laws.
Lawmakers passed a bill that would protect the right of a public school teacher to wear religious clothing in school.
LB 62, sponsored by Norfolk Sen. Jim Scheer, repeals a law that prohibited public school teachers from wearing religious garments in school. It required school boards to suspend teachers who violated the law for one year and terminate them after a second violation. It passed 39-5.
In a unanimous vote, lawmakers removed the requirement for people to receive a doctor’s letter of referral before being treated by a licensed acupuncturist.
LB 19 instead requires an acupuncturist to refer a patient to an appropriate practitioner if his or her symptoms are not treatable by acupuncture.
The Government, Military, and Veteran Affairs Committee heard LB 485, which would replace Columbus Day with a holiday that would honor indigenous people.
The day instead would be called Standing Bear and Indigenous Leaders’ Day. Standing Bear, chief of the Ponca Tribe, successfully argued in federal District Court in 1879 that Native Americans are persons under law.

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