Kentucky lawmaker says ‘moment of silence’ bill not an attempt to bring school prayer in through the back door

Republished from WEKU.


The state representative who authored a bill requiring between 1 and 2 minutes of silence to begin the day in Kentucky public schools said it’s not an attempt to bring in school prayer through the back door. Republican Dan Fister represents Woodford and parts of Franklin and Jessamine counties. He said House Bill 96 would give students much-needed time to compose themselves for the day ahead.

“We’re in a busy world and a lot, a lot of distractions with phones and computers, what have you and give a kid a minute to just kind of decompress and be ready to move forward.”

HB 96 easily cleared the House Education Committee Tuesday and received a first reading on the House floor. Fister said it seems popular with the public and his colleagues, but it’s opposed by the ACLU of Kentucky. He said the ACLU was neutral two years ago when a similar bill passed the House.

“They have now come up with this idea that it may be a backdoor way and into something or may have a child be coerced into maybe doing some prayer or something. And that’s not what’s gonna happen.”

HB 96 would require local school boards to set policies ensuring students “meditate, pray or engage in any other silent activity which does not interfere with, distract from or impede other pupils’ exercise of individual choice.”

In a statement, the ACLU said House Bill 96 could unconstitutionally encourage prayer during moments of silence.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.