DeSantis Secures Faith Of Floridian Children

Written By BlabberBuzz | Thursday, 17 June 2021 08:40

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday passed legislation requiring public school students "to reflect and to be able to pray as they see fit" for one or two minutes each day during the first period.

Florida law already "encourages" students to engage in "silent prayer," but HB 529 will require that minute-or-two of reflection. "It’s something that’s important to be able to provide each student the ability, every day, to be able to reflect and to be able to pray as they see fit," DeSantis said during a Monday press conference. "The idea that you can just push God out of every institution, and be successful — I'm sorry, our founding fathers did not believe that."

Florida is also one of 15 other states that support public school students to engage in a moment of silence, a legislative analyst told The Associated Press.

Democratic State Sen. Jason Pizzo supported HB 529, saying the students won't be asked to pray during those times set aside by schools.

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"It's like a moment of meditation, relaxation, connection," he said.

Much of DeSantis' press conference was directed on Florida's Jewish community and the state's support for Israel. The governor also signed legislation on Monday guaranteeing the actions of volunteer ambulance services for Orthodox Jews, who rely on volunteer ambulances to help defeat religious sensitivities that prevent some people from using traditional emergency services.

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Rabbi Sholom Lipskar presented the governor and possible 2024 Republican presidential candidate as a "great governor and future world leader" during the conference.

A Monday press release from DeSantis notes that the Florida Leads Budget to fund the state's Jewish community includes $4 million in security funding for Florida’s Jewish Day Schools; $1.35 million for the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Pete; $400,000 for the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach and other types of investments to support Florida's Jewish people and Israel.

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"Every family in our state should be able to send their children to school and know that they will be protected from harm and be able to practice their faith," DeSantis said in a Monday statement. "I’m proud to sign these bills today to help protect religious freedom in Florida and increase the safety and security of our Jewish communities."

He maintained: "I will continue to make sure that in Florida we root out anti-Semitism, and that every day we show our support for Israel and our Jewish communities."

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HB 529 also encourages parents to review the practice of participating in a moment of silence at school and does not allow for ideas regarding the nature of the prayer or reflection students might choose to participate in.

Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran said the bill "empowers families to begin those ongoing conversations with their child on what they might reflect on during the moment of silence, and help them use this time as an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming day."

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