|South Carolina Action Alert! Tell Committee to Vote No on School Prayer!|
The following e-mail announcement was sent by Amy Monsky to the SHL News and Updates mailing list:
Tomorrow, Thursday, February 27, members of the House Judiciary Committee will discuss H 3526, a bill which would allow teacher-led prayer in public schools during the mandated moment of silence.
This bill is blatantly unconstitutional in its infringement of the First Amendment rights of both students and teacher and school personnel. Allowing a teacher to lead a prayer is an endorsement and promotion of religion and serves no secular purpose. Students already have the right to pray in school. Schools already observe a state-mandated Moment of Silence. Students are already free to pray or not pray during this time. Allowing students who do not wish to listen or otherwise participate to leave the classroom is not a reasonable option, either. It effectively reduces them to second-class citizens, potentially singling them out for ridicule and exclusion. The Supreme Court has already ruled that the mere promotion of religion is an unconstitutional violation of the Establishment Clause, and that is still the case, even if the act is voluntary and without coercion.
Public education is for ALL of South Carolina's students, including those who are non-believers and minority faith observers. State-promoted religion has no place in our public schools. Contact the members of the Constitutional Laws subcommittee to tell them NO on H 3526. You can find their contact information here: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/member.php?chamber=H
Bruce Bannister, Chairman
President, Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry
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