Students, teachers required to pray in Alabama schools

THE ALABAMA HOUSE OF Rep- resentatives approved a bill requiring teachers and students at all of the state’s public schools to spend ev- ery morning in Christian prayer.

Alabama’s Chamber of EducationCommittee passed thepolicy Feb. 20. It requires teachers to be- gin each day by reading the

same opening prayers –ver- batim – recited before ses- sions of the U.S. Congress. Teachers would be allowed to devote up to 15 minutes a day to the prayer.

Gallup, a Washington, D.C.-based polling firm, ranked Alabama the second most religious state last year.

Alabama State Rep.Steve Hurst introduced the legislation. The bill is already legal,but a majority of Alabama residents don’t know it is.

Only two Republicans on the panel actually voted yes on the bill. Two Republicans and one. Democrat insisted that they said no, and three legislators weren’t even present for the vote.

A bill that would allow students to initiate prayer in school and express their religious views in schoolwork was also voted through.