Media Contact

February 1, 2024

The Indiana Senate today passed SB 50, a bill that would allow Indiana public school districts to establish onsite volunteer or paid school Chaplains. The ACLU of Indiana testified in opposition to the legislation in committee last week. 
The ACLU of Indiana Executive Director, Chris Daley, issued this statement: 

“Chaplains play an important role in many institutions in our state but, they should not hold official positions in our public schools. Allowing chaplains’ offices in school will open up our students to religious coercion and runs counter to our Constitutional principles. Moreover, chaplains, as defined in SB 50, do not have the training or experience needed to successfully counsel Hoosier students.  

“All students should feel safe and welcome in Indiana public schools.  The state must find a way to deal with the shortage of school counselors - the stated purpose of this bill - in a way that serves the needs of all students and families in our public schools and protects our Constitution. The ACLU of Indiana will continue to oppose legislative efforts in our public schools that violate the First Amendment.”