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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida Senate moves ahead with school prayer bill



If at first you don't succeed ...

Florida state Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, has once again resurrected legislation that seeks to allow prayer at school events including graduations. The bill, which gained no traction last year, made its way through its first committee stop Wednesday.

"The majority of states already have laws enacted that permit prayer or silent meditation – and in some instances, mandate prayer or silent meditation.  I simply want to empower our school districts to allow students to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of religion in the school setting," Siplin said in a press release touting the bill's movement.

Identical legislation filed in the House has yet to be scheduled for a hearing.

Similar efforts to permit prayers or "inspirational messages" at school events have repeatedly foundered against the rocks of constitutional concerns. But then, Florida lawmakers weren't always receptive to many school choice ideas that now pass easily, either. Any predictions on how far this idea will get this session?

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 4:20pm]


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