DeSantis signs bill demanding daily minute’s silence at school
TALLAHASSEE – Presenting the measure as a way to allow students to “think and pray as they see fit,” Governor Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a bill that will require public schools to observe moments of silence at the start of each school year. day.
DeSantis signed the bill (HB 529), which will institute one- to two-minute moments of silence in public school classrooms at the Shul in Bal Harbor, a Jewish community center.
“The idea that you can just push God out of every institution and be successful, I’m sorry, our founding fathers didn’t believe it,” DeSantis said, shortly before signing the measure behind a sign that read “protect the religious freedom “.
When the law comes into force on July 1, public school principals will be required to order first-term teachers to institute moments of silence.
The new law will also require that teachers cannot “make suggestions as to the nature of any thinking a student may engage in during the moment of silence,” and students “may not interfere with the participation of other students.” .
Teachers will also be required to encourage parents to talk to students about moments of silence and to “make suggestions for the best use” of time.
During a speech at the Miami-Dade County Jewish Community Center, DeSantis and his Republican allies focused heavily on the bill allowing silent prayer. Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez said the bill “will allow religious freedom and allow students to have a minute or two at the start of their day.”
The tone of the event deviated from previous comments by the bill’s sponsors that the measure was not explicitly intended to allow prayer.
Senate sponsor Dennis Baxley R-Ocala defended the measure during a Senate debate in April saying the bill aims to give schoolchildren a quiet and uninterrupted moment “just to stop and think” .
House sponsor Randy Fine of R-Brevard County also argued in February that the proposal would not impose religion on public school students.
Representative Omari Hardy, a Democrat from West Palm Beach who voted against the bill, accused Republican sponsors of distorting the intent behind the measure.
“The Republican who sponsored the bill said it was not about praying in school. (Of course it was!) But when you question their motives or their honesty, it is called a personal attack and is deemed irrelevant. No. Republicans lie and we have to call them every time, ”Hardy said in a tweet Monday.
Also in Monday’s appearance, DeSantis signed a bill allowing volunteer ambulance services which are faith-based, non-profit organizations to provide basic and advanced survival services free of charge.
The bill (HB 805), which is also due to come into force on July 1, will allow volunteer ambulances to use emergency lights to answer calls. Only services that have been operating in the state for a decade or more are eligible.
DeSantis said the measure supports volunteer ambulance services with “proven track records” like Hatzalah, a nonprofit organization that provides services in South Florida.
“These services are essential for Holocaust survivors who are afraid of uniforms and being taken away,” a press release said Monday on the DeSantis office bill. “Members are trained to treat patients in accordance with Jewish law. “
Nunez told the crowd that the two bills signed by DeSantis are “a testament to our continued support and constant priority for issues that are important to the Jewish community.”
Rep. Mike Caruso, a Republican from Delray Beach who sponsored the ambulance bill, compared it to the bill requiring a minute’s silence.
“Hatzalah means ‘rescue’,” Caruso said. “And… this bill, I see it as a first step in saving our communities and our society from the purge of God. And this is a first step in bringing God back to our communities.
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