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Florida Senate OKs bill requiring moments of silence in school

Opponents of the bill said the measure promotes prayer in school.
Credit: Manatee Schools Television

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Every Florida public school would be required to have a moment of silence of up to two minutes during first period under a bill passed by the Senate.

The 32-6 vote on Thursday would amend current law that allows school districts to have a moment of silence for prayer or meditation but doesn’t require it. The bill also says teachers cannot "make suggestions as to the nature of any reflection that a student may engage in during the moment of silence."

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Teachers also are encouraged to have parents talk with students about what they'd like to use the moment of silence for. Opponents of the bill said the measure promotes prayer in school. 

Rep. Lori Berman questioned whether students could pull out a rosary, make the sign of the cross or use a prayer rug and wondered if that would make some students uncomfortable. 

Florida's House approved the same piece of legislation last month in a 94-24 vote.

The bill now goes to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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