TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A bill allowing school boards to permit student-initiated prayer and other “inspirational messages” at public school assemblies is on its way to Gov. Rick Scott.
The House passed the measure (SB 98) on a largely party line roll call of 88-27 Thursday, with Republicans for and most but not all Democrats against. It previously passed the Senate 31-8.
Sen. Gary Siplin, an Orlando Democrat who sponsored the bill, says it keeps students rather than administrators in charge of whether and how to deliver messages of inspiration.
Opponents say it violates the constitutional principle of church-state separation and will almost certainly be challenged in court.
U.S. Supreme Court decisions have banned state-sponsored prayer in public schools.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.