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Bill requiring moment of silence in schools passes Senate and House of Representatives vote

(WCJB)
Published: Mar. 3, 2020 at 5:33 AM EST
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UPDATE (3/5/20): The bill to require a moment of silence in public schools was overwhelmingly approved by the state House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The proposal prohibits teachers from telling students how to spend the quiet time. The House vote was 96-20. The only member of the North Central Florida delegation to vote against it was Gainesville democrat Clovis Watson. The Senate bill, sponsored by Ocala senator Dennis Baxley, is also ready for a floor vote.

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A bill sponsored by a North Central Florida state senator, requiring a moment of silence at the beginning of each school day, passed its final Senate committee on Monday.

The bill was opposed by groups like the ACLU who argue it would isolate students who don't follow a religion.

Bill sponsor Dennis Baxley of Ocala says the bill doesn't prohibit students from praying or from using the time in any other way. Under the bill, teachers would not be allowed to direct students on how to use the moment of silence. It would require teachers to speak with students' parents so they could help their child decide how use the time.

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