A bill is heading to the governor of North Carolina's desk, and it is attempting to make clear how public school students and staff can express religious beliefs.

The senate gave final legislative approval yesterday in a 48 to 1 vote.

The measure says students may share religious views and distribute religious literature, with reasonable restrictions.

It also says they can pray silently or aloud to the same extent students meditate or speak on non-religious matters.

The bill also allows school staff to 'adopt a respectful posture' during voluntary prayers led by students.

The bill was prompted after a McDowell County student was told to remove a reference to God in a poem for a Veterans Day observance.