Earlier this year, state lawmakers in South Carolina introduced bill H. 3526, which would require teachers to lead a moment of silence at the beginning of each school day. During this moment of silence teachers would be allowed to conduct a prayer, but students would also have the choice to opt out and remove themselves from the classroom. Falling in line with South Caroline, is now the 2nd most religious state in the U.S, Alabama.
Alabama’s House of Representatives have gone one step further. Instead of calling for a moment of silence, the representatives have pushed a bill through requiring teachers and students in the public schools to spend 15 minutes every morning in CHRISTIAN prayer.
From the Montgomery Advertiser:
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve Hurst, R-Munford, would require teachers to spend no more than 15 minutes in the first class of each day to read, verbatim, opening prayers said before a meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate.
Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, chairwoman of the committee, said she heard more votes in favor of the bill.
“It’s what I heard as chairman,” she said.
The committee also passed a religious expression bill, sponsored by Rep. Mack Butler, R-Rainbow City, that would allow students to initiate prayer in school and express their religious views in their schoolwork. The bill would also require schools to adopt a policy to reinforce those rights.
Butler, who served on a school board for 10 years, said the purpose of the bill is to communicate to school administrators and teachers what’s legal. He said he knows teachers who are scared to death because they don’t know where to draw the line.
“Every bit of this bill is already legal,” Butler said. “It’s just that no one knows it’s legal.”
Beech said she didn’t understand why a bill legalizing actions that are already legal under the U.S. Constitution was needed.
If you’re going to pass a vote on making prayer mandatory, why not make all prayer mandatory?