Florida bill would require daily moment of silence in public schools
A brand-new bill in the Florida Senate would require schools to offer a moment of silence at the beginning of each school day.
At Collier County Public Schools, schools already observe moments of silence, but they are not enforced.
Schools are allowed to have reflection, prayer or meditation on their own terms, but say under no circumstances do they have to participate.
The Florida bill would require certain teachers to set aside time for the moment of silence at the beginning of each school day.
Some parents think it’s a good idea to have quiet time, but others worry about what the moment of silence would really be for.
Days can get hectic, and that’s something 10-year-old Casey agrees with.
“I need a break sometimes,” he said.
That’s why a Florida senator introduced a bill Thursday to require public school principals to require certain teachers to set aside two minutes for a moment of silence each school day.
“Having some quiet time for personal reflection is probably a good idea,” Colby Brannan said.
Brannan agrees and says taking a moment in school to breathe could be healthy for students.
“It depends on how the teachers frame it,” Brannan said.
Some parents are unsure if students will understand what the moment of silence is for.
“I don’t think it’s right to force things upon like religion and beliefs and to pushed upon somebody,” Greg Somers said. “You have a right to do what you want to do, even as a kid.”
Some want to ensure the reflection time is implemented correctly.
“I don’t think the teachers should be imposing any kind of idea of what the moment of silence or quiet time needs to be used for,” Jack Barnwell said.
The bill specifies teachers should not make suggestions about what students should reflect on.
“In this day in age, you need to know the facts,” Somers said. “Even kids can make educated decisions when they are young.”
The bill also encourages parents to talk about the moment of silence and what’s best for students to do with their time.
Lawmakers are set to discuss the bill during next session beginning March 2021. It would become effective in June if passed.
“I think if it’s just quiet time, you can choose with if what you would like to do,” Brannan said. “If you would like to pray, I think you should be able to pray and if you don’t want to.”