Illinois lawmakers introduced legislation several years ago to give public school students time to pray in school. To keep it legal, it was eventually called the “Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act.” It’s useless legislation, of course, since students can pray whenever they’d like. But if you wanted to get prayer in school, this was a legal backdoor approach.
Earlier this year, State Rep. Mary E. Flowers (below) introduced an amendment to that law — because I guess silence isn’t enough — which would allow for group prayer. That bill is now picking up co-sponsors left and right and heading for a vote very soon.
That bill, HB0165, says that…
students in the public schools may, during the school day, voluntarily engage in individually or collectively initiated, non-disruptive prayer or religious-based meetings, including without limitation prayer groups, B I B L E (Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth) clubs, or “meet at the flagpole for prayer” days (instead of providing that students in the public schools may voluntarily engage in individually initiated, non-disruptive prayer).
What does that mean? In theory, it would let students meet during their free time to pray.
Which they can already do. It was never in doubt.
This is just an exercise in pretending to do something while actually accomplishing nothing. (Welcome to Illinois politics.)
If anything, it could open the door to abuse, with students using prayer as an excuse to get out of their school-day responsibilities. But it’ll pass, just like useless legislation always seems to pass in my state, with little debate and no real opposition. And it’ll create yet another distraction in an already broken school system, courtesy of politicians who want nothing more than to micromanage what happens in our classrooms.
(Thanks to Insightfill for the link)