DeSantis signs bills allowing ‘patriotic organizations,’ chaplain programs in Florida schools

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“This is a terrible way for religion to insert itself wrongly in public schools,” said Reverend Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, the president and CEO of Interfaith Alliance.

Interfaith Alliance is one of 38 groups, including more than 200 chaplains, that fear untrained chaplains will try to “counsel” students. “We care about student mental health and safety concerns. As trained chaplains, we are not qualified to address the needs of public school students that these proposals purport to address,” they wrote to the governor.

“Imagine if you are an LGBTQ student, or are having a struggle with depression and someone is not trained to deal with that, they’re just ‘Joe Chaplain’ who comes in there, that could do more harm than good,” Raushenbush said.