Republicans In North Carolina: School Prayer

Prayer

I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m a little leery of the complete power the republicans have in North Carolina.  However, there are benefits to finally having the out party in control of the legislative process.

In this case, it’s prayer in our public schools:

Raleigh, N.C. — Legislation approved Wednesday by the Senate Education Committee reaffirms that students can pray in public schools, a right that some lawmakers and others say is being curtailed by teachers confused by the law.

Senate Bill 370 would allow students to pray silently at any time or out loud during non-instructional time as long as the prayer is initiated by students – not teachers or staff – and nobody is forced to participate. Also, any school employees present during a student prayer would be encouraged to “adopt a respectful posture.”

“Teachers and the schools don’t really understand current law. That’s the problem,” said Sen. Austin Allran, R-Catawba. “They’re telling students they can’t talk about God or anything else that’s religious.”

This, pure and simple, makes sense.

While I don’t agree with legislation that bans organized times of prayer, think before an athletic event or at graduation, allowing students to pray on their own certainly isn’t restricted by that law.

I personally pray over my food before I eat.  Can you imagine a school not allowing a student that discretion?  Or prayer during down time or private time, as mentioned above, that doesn’t interfere with instruction.

Maybe democrats here in Carolina would have gone with this view of the law, but they haven’t in all the time they’ve held the house, the senate or the governor’s mansion.

2 responses to “Republicans In North Carolina: School Prayer

  1. This is a typical back door around those problematic instances you mentioned, though. The idea is that they’ll have a student speaker do a little introduction at every football game, or graduation ceremony, and guess what that student will be delivering?

    There is no restriction on a student silently praying, ever, nor could there be. There also isn’t a restriction on students praying out loud when they aren’t in a classroom setting (for example, at lunch). If a teacher ever did step in, especially in North Carolina, you can imagine there’d be hell to pay (so to speak). Can you find any such example?

    What this bill does is pretend to solve a problem that doesn’t exist (students can’t pray silently in class, really?) with a solution that actually captures a lot more ground back. Now students can pray out loud, with the PA system, as long as it isn’t directed by a teacher and is in non-instructional time, such as pep rallies, football games, lunch time, morning announcements, graduations, etc. The only thing they can’t do under the new law is have a teacher force a prayer or have students leading prayers during an actual lesson.

    • The idea is that they’ll have a student speaker do a little introduction at every football game, or graduation ceremony, and guess what that student will be delivering?

      I agree that allowing a student access to a PA system or a microphone would be an implicit endorsement by the school. With that said, I can’t get over the fact that I think it’s okay for schools that are better than 95% Christian to offer a prayer of thanks to Deity at graduation.

      If a teacher ever did step in, especially in North Carolina, you can imagine there’d be hell to pay (so to speak). Can you find any such example?

      Again, I think this bill isn’t aimed at the small little schools in the sticks. More to the larger schools, but then again, I don’t know.

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