South Carolina Republicans Want State-Sponsored Religion In Schools
Four South Carolina state Republicans are pushing two bills that support state-sponsored religion.
One bill would allow teachers to lead children in the teacher’s chosen prayer, a practice that has been deemed illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court, and a second bill would allow teachers to pray with children, also banned by the high court.
The four state representatives spoke about the bills on Feb. 12 during the Parent University Forum at the Savannah Grove Baptist Church in Florence, South Carolina, notes The State.
State Rep. Richie Yow expressed his disgust that state employees are not allowed to lead children in prayers:
It’s sad that we have to introduce a bill that gives us a God-given right to start with.
Right now, the way that it’s set up in the state is the teachers cannot pray with the students, even when they ask, and it’s our God-given right to be able to do that.
We’re taking away freedom of speech, and these bills are just giving some of that freedom back that these families have earned.
Allie Brooks, a former educator, corrected Yow on the facts:
Praying in our schools is not against the law. Court rulings have been against school-led prayers that were a part of mandatory assemblies, such as graduations and athletic events. Student-led prayers and faith-based organizations have proven to be acceptable to the courts.
Brooks said there are voluntary Good News Clubs in every elementary school in the Florence School District, voluntary Christian Learning Centers for all middle schools and voluntary Bible clubs in schools.
“These are just a few examples to document that prayer is alive and well in our schools,” Brooks added.
Rep. Bill Chumley issued a dire warning of what will happen without state sponsored prayer in schools: “When you take prayer out of schools, you replace it with metal detectors.”
Reps. Robert Williams and Mike Burns also attended the meeting in support of the proposed bills.