ATLANTA (May 4, 2016) | Governor Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 309 into law on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. Sponsored by Sen. Burt Jones (R – Jackson), SB 309 allows student athletes to express their personal religious beliefs during sporting events and enables high schools, which receive state funding, to participate in athletic competitions with schools outside of their designated conference.
“I’m grateful Gov. Deal signed this legislation into law,” said Sen. Jones. “Expressing ones beliefs and principles is a right that no one should be denied. It is also a huge step in the right direction to let athletes compete with members outside of their conference because it will increase the drive, skill level and motivation for athletes around the state. With increased competition, they will be motivated to do the best they can to stay at the top of their game.”
SB 309 allows student athletes to express their personal religious beliefs as long as the expression does not affect the safety of other participants or the conduct of the athletic event. It also allows schools to organize sporting events with nonmember schools if both administrators agree in writing to participate in the event. Each school requesting to participate in the event must be in compliance with physical exams and management of concussions. All athletic events are limited to high school student athletes only.
Senate Bill 309 goes into effect on July 1, 2016.
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For Immediate Release:
May 4, 2016
For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Director
Ines Owens, Sr. Communications Specialist