Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) signed a bill that mandates a moment of silence at the start of each school day on Monday. The legislation will require all teachers at K-12 public schools across the state to provide one to two minutes of silence.
The time gives students the opportunity to pray according to their religious beliefs before classes begin. The bill also prohibits teachers from offering any suggestions on how their students take the moments of silence to reflect.
When passed in the Florida House, it received massive bipartisan support passing 94 to 24 in the chamber. The State Senate saw much of the same bipartisanship by passing 32 to six.
“We think it’s something that’s important to be able to provide each student the ability at every day to be able to reflect and to be able to pray as they see fit,” DeSantis explained. “The idea that you can just push God out of every institution and be successful, I’m sorry, our founding fathers did not believe that.”
The Supreme Court banned state sponsored prayer in schools in 1963 as they found it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. However, it is currently unknown if calling the time a generic moment of silence circumvents this ruling.