Gov. Noem moves to allow prayer in public schools

Proposal calls for a “moment of silence” at the start of each school day
Gov. Kristi Noem
Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 1:53 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Could state-sanctioned prayer return to South Dakota public schools?

In July, Governor Kristi Noem told people at the conservative Family Leadership Summit that she would put prayer back in schools.

“We prayed in schools. Which by the way, in South Dakota, I’m putting prayer back in our schools,” Noem said.

Monday, she takes the first step in that direction. Noem released a draft of the bill titled A Moment of Silence.

If approved by the state Legislature the act would require school districts to provide a one-minute moment of silence at the beginning of each school day.

While the bill stresses that nothing in the act permits schools to conduct the moment of silence as a religious exercise, a release from her office states that the act restores protections for prayer in schools, guaranteeing students can pray in schools at the start of every day.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that moments of silence laws were unconstitutional if the purpose was to promote religion. That was in 1985, against Alabama because the state admitted its purpose was to return voluntary prayer to public schools.

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