Tag Archives: flagpole

‘Prayer Around the Flagpole’ Bill Clears Senate

By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Senate passed a proposal Thursday that would allow teachers and other school workers to participate in prayer groups and other religious activities on school grounds, so long as they are initiated by students.
Sponsors of the bill brought it in part to support “See You at the Pole” gatherings, where students and their parents gather at school flag poles to pray.
The measure was approved 29-1. The companion bill unanimously passed the House 93-0 earlier this month. Before it can go to the governor, the measure must go back to the House to approve an amendment that was added.
The legislation allows school personnel to participate in such activities as long as they don’t carry into the classroom or conflict with the assignments of the participant.

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A New Running Up of ‘Prayer at the Flagpole’

A Cheatham County lawmaker says he has reworked his “prayer at the flagpole” bill to meet school board regulations, WPLN’s Joe White reports.
The new version closely follows a law passed in Florida. State Representative Phillip Johnson of Cheatham County threw away his original bill to allow teachers to gather at the flagpole for religious services.
The new version limits participation of school employees to events taking place before or after official school hours.
“Teachers, coaches, personnel – before the school day starts, if they want to meet and participate, they should be able to.”
The issue arose from an agreement reached by the Cheatham County school system and the American Civil Liberties Union, barring coaches and teachers from attending religious gatherings held on school property.
Under the new wording, the meeting must be a student-initiated event. The bill is one step away from a floor vote by the full House of Representatives. The Senate version is not so far along, but is scheduled in the Senate Education Committee Wednesday.