DeSantis Backs Moment of Silence in Schools

DeSantis Backs Moment of Silence in Schools

By Ryan Dailey, The News Service of Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE — Touting the measure as a way of allowing students to “reflect and be able to pray as they see fit,” Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a bill that will require public schools to hold moments of silence at the beginning of each day.

DeSantis signed the bill (HB 529), which will institute one- to two-minute moments of silence in public school classrooms, at The Shul of Bal Harbour, a Jewish community center.

“The idea that you can just push God out of every institution and be successful, I’m sorry, our Founding Fathers did not believe that,” DeSantis said, shortly before signing the measure behind a placard that read “protect religious liberty.”

When the law goes into effect July 1, public-school principals will be required to direct first-period teachers to institute moments of silence.

The new law also will mandate that teachers can’t “make suggestions as to the nature of any reflection that a student may engage in during the moment of silence,” and students “may not interfere with other students’ participation.”

Teachers also will be required to encourage parents to talk with students about the moments of silence and “to make suggestions as to the best use” of the time.

While speaking at the Jewish community center in Miami-Dade County, DeSantis and Republican allies focused heavily on the bill allowing for silent prayer. Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez said the bill will “allow for religious freedom and allow for students to have a minute or two at the start of their day.”

The tone at the event was a departure from earlier comments by the bill’s sponsors that the measure was not explicitly aimed at allowing prayer.

Senate sponsor Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, defended the measure during a Senate floor debate in April by saying the bill is aimed at giving school children a silent, uninterrupted moment “just to stop and reflect.”

House sponsor Randy Fine, R-Brevard County, similarly argued in February that the proposal would not push religion on public-school students.

Rep. Omari Hardy, a West Palm Beach Democrat who voted against the bill, accused the  Republican sponsors of misrepresenting the intent behind the measure.

“The Republican who sponsored the bill said that it wasn’t about prayer in school. (Of course it was!) But when you question their motives, or their honesty, it’s called a personal attack & deemed out of order. No. The Republicans lie, and we need to call them on it every time,” Hardy said in a tweet Monday.

Also during Monday’s appearance, DeSantis signed a bill to allow volunteer ambulance services that are faith-based non-profit organizations to provide basic and advanced life-support services free of charge.

The bill (HB 805), which also is set to go into effect July 1, will allow the volunteer ambulances to use emergency lights when responding to calls. Only services that have been operating in the state for a decade or more are eligible.

DeSantis said the measure supports volunteer ambulance services with a “proven track record” like Hatzalah, a non-profit that provides services in South Florida. 

“These services are critical for Holocaust survivors who have a fear of uniforms and of being taken away,” a news release about the bill from DeSantis’ office said Monday. “Members are trained to treat patients according to Jewish law.”

Nunez told the crowd that both bills DeSantis signed are “a testament to our continued support and our continued prioritization of issues that are important to the Jewish community.”

Rep. Mike Caruso, a Delray Beach Republican who sponsored the ambulance bill, likened it to the bill mandating a moment of silence.

“Hatzalah means ‘rescue,’” Caruso said. “And … this bill, I see it as a first step of rescuing our communities and our society from the purging of God out of it. And this is a first step of getting God back into our communities.”

13 Responses to "DeSantis Backs Moment of Silence in Schools"

  1. @LYork
    So, you’re saying that YOUR Kids can’t shut thehell UP for a few Minutes? REALLY? No where does it say your Kids HAVE to Pray. They can think about anything you want.

  2. So there is a law for how many minutes in a day you hold school. So does this mean they get out of school 1 min later due to this pause in studies?

    Can’t you just reflect at home when you come back from school or you know, on your lunch break??

  3. Went to my nieces High School graduation in South Carolina last week. There was a prayer before the ceremony, one given by the valedictorian during the ceremony, and another by the Principal at the end of the ceremony. Its a public school in Ft. Mill. My brother in law boastfully looked at me and said “That’s the difference between South Carolina and everywhere else.”

    I’m gonna send him this, because my governor will beat his governor like runnin’ mule.

  4. I didn’t skip a thing. But you may have missed the part where I mentioned you… oh wait, I didn’t.


  5. Um, Eddie? Did you skip the part where I’m agreeing with you entirely about the moment of silence?

    This is why the country is in the state it is. Even when there is common ground upon which to meet and exchange ideas, you’re just looking for the nearest rock to throw.

  6. God forbid children should be subjected to a moment of self reflection, thoughts of hope, dreams of peace, the simplicity of silence, or faith in something more powerful that man or government. Better we lock them down, strap on a face diaper, pump the full of Ritalin, and subject them to hours upon hours of hate, lies, and violence as presented by Fakebook, Twidiot, Instascam, and Slap Snot.

    It takes a lot of Faith to be an ashiest.

  7. LYork,

    Card-carrying, dyed-in-the-wool atheist here.

    What’s the harm? Seriously. It’s not mandating prayer, but silence. A moment of silence to do with as one wishes such as yes, a prayer or a chant or simply thinking about the day to come and organize one’s thoughts.

    Meditation is supposed to be this great thing for people, but as soon as a moment of silent reflection is added to a school day in the form of 1 or 2 minutes, it’s a bad thing because a Republican is doing it to allow SILENT prayers to oneself in the school? True, it’s not sufficient time for full meditation, but it’s a great way to introduce it with training wheels to a bunch of kids who otherwise might never consider it, if you as a parent recognize it as such.

    Teach your children to use the mental quite time as you see fit and other parents will do the same. I’ll teach mine to recite Led Zeppelin lyrics.

    Settle down. This isn’t a hill to die on.

  8. So DeSantis is subjecting young children to a mandatory moment of silence, i.e. prayer? Why? What purpose does this serve other than making him look good for his presidential run?

  9. I don’t really see the issue here. A moment of silence should have been the compromise solution way back in the day when church was separated from schools in an official capacity. We never should have been forcing Jewish kids to pray to Jesus. It was just wrong and crossing a line of liberty. This though, it’s a fair and equitable solution for any and all persons/faiths/non-faiths/practices. Just take a moment and reflect or plan your day if you don’t want to pray, and if you choose to pray, do it silently to allow others to do the same.

    I don’t really get the big deal here, except that they really should have been up-front about the intent and plain talk it the whole way through.

  10. “The Republican who sponsored the bill said that it wasn’t about prayer in school. (Of course it was!) But when you question their motives, or their honesty, it’s called a personal attack & deemed out of order. No. The Republicans lie, and we need to call them on it every time,” Hardy said in a tweet Monday.

    The above statement is a classing example of Left-Wing Alinsky Projection 101

    I see no problem with this move by Governor DeSantis, and in fact, I applaud him for it. The cultural breakdown and increasing societal mayhem we see in our country today can be tracked back to the Left-Wing Wackos chasing God out of our schools. When they chased God out, they left the door wide open for Satan to come in… and he’s been having a field day ever since… much to the DemoKKKcrat’s delight to be sure.

  11. Back when I was still in School, there was always a Group (or two) that would gather in the Morning before the first bell and they would hold Bible Study where one would read passages aloud and they would hold Prayer. No one bothered them. Does this still take place? I hope so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.