Gov. Ron DeSantis Backs Moments Of Silence In Schools – CBS Miami
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami / NSF) – Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Monday requiring public schools to observe minutes of silence at the start of each day.
DeSantis signed the law (HB 529) that will introduce one to two minute silence in public school classrooms at the Shul of Bal Harbor, a Jewish community center.
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“I’m sorry for the idea that you can simply push God out of every institution and be successful, our founding fathers didn’t believe it,” said DeSantis behind a poster that read “Protect religious freedom” shortly before signing the measure.
When the law goes into effect on July 1st, public school principals will have to instruct early teachers to introduce minutes of silence.
The new law also stipulates that teachers “must not make suggestions about the type of reflection a student engages in during the moment of silence” and that students “must not interfere with the participation of other students”.
Teachers are also encouraged to encourage parents to talk to students about the moments of silence and “make suggestions on how best to use the time”.
During her speech at the Miami-Dade County Jewish Community Center, DeSantis and Republican allies focused heavily on the law that enables silent prayer. Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez said the bill will “allow freedom of religion and allow students to have a minute or two to start the day”.
The tone of the event differed from previous statements by the sponsors of the bill that the measure was not specifically aimed at making prayer possible.
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Senate Sponsor Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, defended the measure during a Senate debate in April, saying the bill aims to give school children a quiet, uninterrupted moment “just to pause and think.”
House sponsor Randy Fine, R-Brevard County, similarly argued in February that the proposal would not impose religion on students in public schools.
Rep. Omari Hardy, a West Palm Beach Democrat who voted against the law, accused Republican sponsors of misrepresenting the intent behind the move.
“The Republican who supported the bill said it wasn’t about prayer in school. (Of course it was!) But if you question their motives or their honesty, it is called a personal attack and it is deemed improper. No. The Republicans are lying and we have to call them every time, “Hardy said in a tweet on Monday.
Also during Monday’s appearance, DeSantis signed a bill that would allow voluntary rescue services, which are religious nonprofits, to provide basic and advanced life support services for free.
The bill (HB 805), also due to come into effect July 1, will allow volunteer ambulances to use emergency lights when answering calls. Only services that have been in the state for a decade or more are eligible.
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