Say No to Chaplains in Public Schools

Our public schools should be places where every student feels welcome regardless of their religious or nonreligious beliefs. That is why Interfaith Alliance is mobilizing in opposition to chaplain bills moving through statehouses across the country that would improperly insert religion into public schools. We stood against this legislation when it was first introduced in Texas, and defeated attempts to force chaplains into public schools in districts across the state. Join Interfaith Alliance and our partners in organizing NOW so we can stop the spread of these harmful bills.

Chaplains Could Work as Public School Counselors Under New Bills Already Introduced in 14 States

On June 18th, 2023, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law (SB 763) that allows school districts to allow chaplains to provide “support, services, and programs for students” in public schools. The law requires school districts to vote whether to employ as volunteers or hire chaplains in place of licensed school counselors. Under this new law, chaplains could serve as students’ first point of contact for mental health support, suicide prevention, and other behavioral health services – even though they are not required to have any type of formal training or certification.

Since the passage of this law in Texas, Interfaith Alliance has worked with grassroots and national partners to protect kids from school chaplains in Texas public schools. While we were able to defeat this harmful policy in school districts across the state, our work is just beginning. 

20 school chaplain bills are currently moving through legislatures in 13 states.

All should feel welcome in public schools. Freedom of religion means that parents and faith communities — not government officials — have the right to direct their children’s religious education and development. That is why Interfaith Alliance is mobilizing to defeat this harmful legislation.

Do you live in a state with a school chaplain bill? Make sure your elected officials know people of faith and conscience don’t want chaplains in our public schools.

Our advocacy toolkit is coming soon, so check back for updates!

Tell Your Legislators: Vote NO on School Chaplains

Are You a Chaplain? Join Hundreds of Clergy in the Call to Keep Chaplains Out of Public Schools

In a cooperative effort between chaplains and faith-based, civic, and civil rights organizations, including Interfaith Alliance, a letter signed by chaplains opposing this harmful legislation was first released on March 6, 2024. Read the letter and call on legislators across the nation to vote no on chaplain bills.

170 Texas Chaplains Urge Texas School Boards to Keep Chaplains Out of Public Schools

The letter, organized by BJC (Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty), Interfaith Alliance, and Texas Impact was sent to Texas school boards as the state prepared to enact SB 763 on Sept. 1, 2023.

Learn More About Our Partners

Interfaith Alliance is mobilizing our state & local networks in partnership with faith-based, civil rights, and civil liberties organizations. We have been coordinating a nationwide response alongside grassroots advocates and clergy to urge legislators to vote down this harmful legislation. Learn more about our partners by reading our national faith-based organizations statement here, and national civil rights organizations statement here.