(USA Features) GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation Tuesday mandating that K-12 public schools provide students with a “moment of silence” each morning so they can pray if they choose to do so.
In signing the bill, DeSantis said the country’s founders would not agree that “you can just push God out of every institution and be successful.”
“I’m sorry, our Founding Fathers did not believe that,” he said at the signing event.
H.B. 529 requires principals at public schools to direct certain teachers to make a moment of silence available at the beginning of each school day, The Epoch Times reported.
Also, the measure bans “teachers from making suggestions as to the nature of any reflection that a student may engage in during the moment of silence,” the legislation reads.
“In today’s hectic society too few persons are able to experience even a moment of quiet reflection before plunging headlong into the activities of daily life,” the bill reads.
“Young persons are particularly affected by the absence of an opportunity for a moment of quiet reflection. The legislature finds that our youth and society as a whole would be well served if students in the public schools were afforded a moment of silence at the beginning of each school day,” it adds.
The bill, which was pushed by the Republican legislative majority, also asks parents to discuss with their kids how best to make use of the moment.
Rep. Randy Fine, who sponsored the bill, said that it’s designed to combat the effects of “technological” and “media-driven” turmoil that are ever-present within society.
“Our children desperately need time for quiet reflection,” Fine said, according to a news release. “Because it is in those fleeting moments that we find our higher purpose.
“That’s why I was so proud to sponsor HB 529, to ensure that each child gets a minute at the beginning of the school day—without a TV on or a cellphone blaring—to think about the world and their place in it,” Fine, a Republican, added.
“It is my hope that these small moments to become emotionally centered will have a big impact on their days—and their lives.”
According to local media, the moment of silence was sought for years by the Jewish Chabad-Lubavitch movement.