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Nonprofit celebrates chaplain pilot program in Miami-Dade public schools

Updated: Jun 10

MIAMI  — A Florida nonprofit is celebrating after members of the group worked with the Miami-Dade School Board to implement a pilot program that will place chaplains in public schools.


The Florida Legislature passed HB 931 and HB 1317 earlier this year, allowing schools to add religious chaplains as a supplemental resource for students in public schools.


After the laws were passed, members of Citizens Defending Freedom (CDF) in Miami-Dade County supported Miami-Dade School Board members and other nonprofits, encouraging the School Board to vote in favor of bringing chaplains into public schools.


After winning the School Board vote, Miami-Dade will become the state’s first pilot district for school chaplains, a major win for religious freedom in public schools.


The Superintendent Miami-Dade Public Schools, Dr. Jose L. Dotres, will now work with certain public schools in the district to install the chaplains, who are not just Christians, but all faiths. The results of the pilot program will again be brought in front of the School Board for a final vote on whether the program should be kept permanently.


Isabella Rodriguez is the County Executive Director for CDF in Miami-Dade County.


“This is a great win for religious freedom in our schools,” said Rodriguez. But we still have work to do, and we’re ready to support Miami-Dade Public Schools however possible to keep chaplains in public schools permanently. For too long, Americans have been told that faith cannot coexist with public education. That is not true, and we’re looking forward to proving it.”


Rodriguez and the rest of the CDF county team supported School Board Member Robert Alonso throughout the voting process to implement the pilot program.


"The compassionate presence of chaplains in our schools can make a positive contribution to the holistic development of students and staff within a school. In times of difficulties, chaplains can also serve as a frontline responder, providing immediate support and solace to affected individuals," said Alonso. "I thank my colleagues on the Board for their support for this item. I look forward to the implementation of this initiative."



Founded in 2021, Citizens Defending Freedom is a non-profit organization that strategically operates in counties across America to help citizens defend their faith and freedom, all while fighting for transparency in local government. Currently, Citizens Defending Freedom is established in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, and Texas, with plans to continue expanding across America. Click here to learn more about Citizens Defending Freedom.



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