Make us your home page


Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

School prayer bill continues to move through Florida Legislature



Over several years, bills to permit prayer or "inspirational messages" at school-related events such as graduations have foundered in the Florida Legislature amid constitutional concerns. 

The worries appear to be slipping away this time out, as the legislation has made it through its second Senate committee stop with only token opposition. It passed Judiciary 5-1 on Thursday, after passing Education 4-1 back in November.

That doesn't mean there's smooth sailing ahead, though.

Sen. David Simmons, a Republican lawyer, sought to delete the entire bill and replace it with much more cautious language making it abundantly clear that any prayer would be student instigated and led, and detailing all the ways in which school personnel may not participate. That amendment has yet to be acted on.

The House version of the bill, filed back in October, also has yet to get its first hearing in that chamber. Either way, the bill is two steps closer than it ever has been to passage. Think it has a prayer? 

[Last modified: Thursday, January 12, 2012 4:08pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours