Early last 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.

Surprisingly, most of the bill’s backers are Democrats, but opponents of the bill want to know what happened with the separation of church and state.

The bill was introduced on Feb. 7 by Reps. Wendell Gilliard, Robert Williams, Joseph Jefferson, Carl Anderson, Liston Barfield, Bill Clyburn, Heather Ammons Crawford, Lonnie Hosey, Robert Ridgeway III, and Don Wells.

The Supreme Court says that teacher-led prayer  violates the First Amendment of the Constitution, but the bills backers are willing to compromise.

“The compromise would be to have the students to pray to whomever they want to. If they want to do away with teachers conducting the prayer that would be fine with us. The essential part of the bill, the important part, is putting prayer back in school,” Gilliard said.

He added the teachers would only introduce the moment of silence, rather than lead the students in a religious prayer.

“There would be no noise, no disruption, no anything. But the teacher would conduct it to let the students know we would have one minute for a moment of silence of prayer. That person can pray to whomever they please,” Gilliard said.

H. 3526 is currently stuck in the House Committee on Judiciary.

While attending a public elementary school, I remember one teacher who always started her class off with a moment of silence. She never told us what we had to do, or should do during those moments. Some students merely put their head down, others took stared off into their own thoughts. But my teacher clearly took her time to clasp her hands and silently prayed.  Maybe it was a way for her to clear her head during each class period, but no one seemed to mind.


Clutchettes, what do you think about having a moment of silence in school?

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  • Kattified

    I don’t think prayer should be done in non-religion based schools. I also don’t think putting it in will solve anything. Why put in something that should really start at home or by picking up the book and reading It? I am glad my parents didn’t push religion so that I can choose and think for myself by reading about the religion instead of just following what others believe or what you’re told to believe.

    Perhaps what really needs to be brought into school is logic and reasoning, free-thinking, talks about morality and ethics, philosophy, and rationality. Anyone can read a book and memorise facts, but to understand and think, wonder and question the what, the where and the whys is much more important and rewarding. That was what I loved about some of my teachers. They didn’t just have me follow along in a book. There were discussions and open forums. We weren’t taught the watered down version or forced to just see one side of an issue. We were taught to expand our way of thinking.

  • We need to ban all forms of prayer in all schools.places of worship exist,this is where people go to Pray.the school, is done to learn.

  • Lola

    This is proselytism. People can pray in the comfort of their homes or go to the numerous churches, temples … There is no need to pray in schools. Why are some religious people so greedy. Freedom of religion is not enough, they have to shove their religions down our throats and impose it everywhere.

  • apple

    i say okay to a moment of silence..people do moments of silence all the time, they did it for 9/11 and that airport did it when they got shot up the week before.. it usually happens at the exact moment the tragedy happened.. so if a crime happened at say 7am this morning, people stop everything for a minute at 7am some special day or the exact date a month/year later.. think or feel whatever and move on.. this can be remembrance, prayer, or just a reflection.. everyone can share in that i think