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Florida lawmaker files bill that would require moment of silence in schools

Posted at 1:53 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 13:53:42-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Florida lawmaker in the state's House of Representatives has filed a bill that seeks to require a moment of silence in public schools statewide.

Rep. Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay), who filed HB 529 on Jan. 28, explained his reason for filing the bill.

“We live in unprecedented times, with our children suffering more mental health challenges than ever before,” said State Representative Randy Fine. “I believe it is no coincidence that our children are having these struggles at the same time that the average American’s connection to God has declined."

The moment of silence, if required, would be non-denominational, a release said.

"Whatever your religion, recognizing our place in society and the omnificence of the Almighty helps bring balance and internal peace. Giving our children a chance for peaceful reflection at the beginning of the day will help them strengthen their soul before we help them strengthen their mind.”

The current law is that Florida public schools "may provide that a brief period, not to exceed 2 minutes, for the purpose of silent prayer or meditation be set aside at the start of each school day or each school week in the public schools in the district."

Rep. Fine's bill is identical to legislation passed on the House floor in prior legislative sessions, none of which panned out.

The bill is currently in the Secondary Education & Career Development Subcommittee, with the legislative session beginning on March 2.

If passed and signed into law by Gov. DeSantis, the new policy would go into effect July 1, 2021.