TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A weakened school prayer bill is going to Gov. Charlie Crist. The legislation (HB 31) inspired by a Florida Panhandle lawsuit received final passage 27-9 in the Senate on Thursday.
It earlier pass 107-8 in the House. The bill would bar schools from infringing on the First Amendment freedoms of teachers, staff or students unless they sign a written waiver of those rights.
As originally filed, it would have allowed prayers at noncompulsory school activities including assemblies and sports events at the request of a majority of students. The American Civil Liberties Union recently obtained a federal court-approved agreement from the Santa Rosa County School Board to stop public prayers at school events.