Florida Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando (left) and state Sen. Joe Negron, R-Palm City (Pic via flsenate.gov)

The Florida Senate today passed a bill that allows students in public schools to pray during any school event.

The measure is the second incarnation of a bill that was already being denounced by advocates for the separation of church and state. Prior to its introduction on the floor, state Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, amended  his bill to expand coverage to elementary school students. Originally, the school prayer bill only allowed high school students to give religious or non-religious “inspirational messages” during school events. Siplin’s amendment also removed language that said the message could only be given at events that were non-compulsory.

Only a handful of Democratic legislators voted against the bill. Most warned that the bill was unconstitutional and would ostracize students with minority beliefs.

State Sen. Nan Rich, D-Sunrise, said that argument struck a particular chord with her. ”As a religious minority,” she said, “I remember what it’s like to be different.” She argued that this sort of legislation could lead to situations in which students are made to feel different.

GOP state senators countered by saying it is a way of protecting student expression. State Sen. Joe Negron, said that we, as a country, have gone to extremes against religion.

“We have gone from neutrality to religion, to hostility toward religion,” Negron said. “This bill doesn’t even talk about prayer. It’s about religious expression.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

After two weeks, Rep. Campbell still up in arms over Randolph’s supposed ‘bullying’

According to Charisma Magazine, Campbell was joined by two-dozen supporters outside the Orlando offices of Randolph on Tuesday, demanding a public apology. During a press conference at the demonstration, which was posted to YouTube, Campbell said that Randolph began bullying her shortly after she finished a speech in support of the ultrasound bill. He come to me and he took all the books on the table and he flung them at my face...with a lot of 'F' words, several times...and he said 'I swear! You could never be reelected! I swear! I'm going to get an opponent to replace you!'

Sarasota squares off against FPL in order to pursue greater renewable energy projects: News. Politics. Media

As its franchise agreement with energy giant Florida Power & Light comes up for renewal for the first time in a generation, Sarasota leaders are taking the opportunity to aggressively renegotiate the terms that govern how FPL provides power to the city. And Sarasota is not alone. In their attempts to renew 30-year-old franchise contracts with cities and counties around the state, FPL and other Florida energy giants are increasingly squaring off against municipalities that are demanding shorter-term agreements and more flexibility on issues like renewable energy projects and franchise fees.