Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has just signed a state bill requiring all Florida K-12 public schools to give students one to two minutes of silence each day to pray, meditate or reflect as they wish.
DeSantis signed HB 529 into law at The Shul of Bal Harbour Jewish Center. A sign reading “protect religious freedom” could be seen at the back of the stage, a serendipitous reference to the legislation.
“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.
Under the new legislation, which will take effect July 1, teachers in classrooms for children up to age 12 must designate a period of silence during which students may pray or meditate if they wish.
During this time, students shall not interfere with the activity or the concentration of other students. At least one minute per day and no more than two minutes per day should be designated.
In addition, it is strictly forbidden for any teacher to attempt to persuade students about the nature of any reflection in which a student may engage during the quiet time.
Teachers may encourage parents to talk to their children about moments of silence and “make suggestions about the best use of the time.”
“We think it’s something that’s important to be able to provide each student the ability, every day, to be able to reflect and to be able to pray as they see fit,” DeSantis said Monday.
The initiative arises to vindicate religions and the right to practice them, which has been strongly affected after the advance of leftist policies in all aspects of social life and particularly in education, where children are indoctrinated with ideologies that generally promote atheism.
Another purpose of the legislation arises from the reflection that in today’s hectic society, very few people can experience even a moment of quiet reflection before plunging headlong into daily life activities.
In this regard, young people are particularly affected by the lack of opportunities to get moments of reflection since they are usually overstimulated with an overwhelming amount of information, in most cases unnecessary.
Rep. Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay), who sponsored the bill, said, “In this world of technological, media-driven, and societal turmoil, our children desperately need time for quiet reflection.”
From now on, all children in Florida will have at least one minute to enjoy the silence away from the television and cell phones, in which they will be able to make their vindication with God or reflect on an issue.