Local lawmakers lead push for prayer in schools bill

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A bill to put prayer in schools introduced in February is getting a renewed push from several local lawmakers.

The bill would require schools to give students a moment of silence at the beginning of each school day.

Students who don't want to participate would be allowed to leave the classroom, the bill states.

The bill was introduced on Feb. 7 by Reps. Wendell Gilliard, Robert Williams, Joseph Jefferson, Carl Anderson, Liston Barfield, Bill Clyburn, Heather Ammons Crawford, Lonnie Hosey, Robert Ridgeway III, and Don Wells.

"The compromise would be to have the students to pray to whomever they want to. If they want to do away with teachers conducting the prayer that would be fine with us. The essential part of the bill, the important part, is putting prayer back in school," Gilliard said.

He added the teachers would only introduce the moment of silence, rather than lead the students in a religious prayer.

"There would be no noise, no disruption, no anything. But the teacher would conduct it to let the students know we would have one minute for a moment of silence of prayer. That person can pray to whomever they please," Gilliard said.

It has been in the House Committee on Judiciary since February.

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