Scott Prays, Schools Don't for Now

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL -- May 3, 2012 --

Many Florida school students participated in the National Day of Prayer by voluntarily attending religious events. Next year, attending school events where prayers are offered may not be voluntary. Capitol Correspondent Whitney Ray asked Governor Rick Scott about the inspirational message bill, at a prayer event in Tallahassee.

Surrounded by Christians, pastors and politicians Governor Rick Scott was prayed for Thursday. Heads were bowed and hands reached out to the governor, on the top floor of the state capitol.

After the National Day of Pray event we asked Scott why he signed a bill to allow students to give inspirational messages at school events.

“It’s the right thing for our state,” said Scott.

Whether pray in school is right or wrong is subject to debate. Whether or not it’s legal is up to the judicial branch. The new law allows students to organize “inspirational messages,” at secondary school events like football games and graduation.

The ACLU of Florida says limiting the venues and calling prayers, messages, won’t keep schools from being sued.

“It in fact will open them up to that kind of litigation,” said Randall Marshall a lawyer with the ACLU.

The legislation had required the state to pay the legal fees of any school that was sued. But the bill was changed before it passed and now whether or not a school gets legal support is up to the state.

Lawsuits aside, students like Price Thornal, who pray privately at school, say they wouldn’t mine open prayer.

“I think it would be a great thing to do. I wish they had it right now to be honest with you,” said Price.

The bill becomes law in July. Then school districts will have the option to adopt a prayer policy. Many will choose to do nothing over concerns of costly lawsuits. We asked Governor Scott if the state will come to the aid of any school sued for allowing student prayer. He answered saying school districts will do the right thing.


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  • by Quit peddling your goods on our Kids! Location: North Florida on May 6, 2012 at 01:01 PM
    Thanks Gov. Scott for empowering student's freedom of internal expression through their individual prayer, meditation and inspiritial messages. History show ugly truths of slaughter of innocent millions by Medieval Cristian Crusaders, as did the Mormons of JC of Later Day Saints when their cult murdered American white settler woman, children and men in order to steal settler's legally owned western homesteaded frontier lands. Geeze, America the Beautiful was founded on Deisist philosphy, not religion whatsoever. Take a history lesson on how our country was founded. Deism in the United States: Thomas Paine: In the United States, Enlightenment philosophy (which itself was heavily inspired by deist ideals) played a major role in creating the principle of religious freedom, expressed in Thomas Jefferson's letters, and the principle of religious freedom expressed in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. American Founding Fathers, or Framers of the Constitution, who were especially noted for being influenced by such philosophy include Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Cornelius Harnett, Gouverneur Morris, and Hugh Williamson. Their political speeches show distinct deistic influence. Other notable Founding Fathers may have been more directly deist. These include James Madison, possibly Alexander Hamilton, Ethan Allen,[44] and Thomas Paine (who published The Age of Reason, a treatise that helped to popularize deism throughout the USA and Europe). GET YOUR CLAWS OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE'S CHILDREN AND QUIT FORCING YOUR RELIGIOUS DOGMA WHERE IT DOES NOT BELONG-IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS. EVEN OUR FOUNDING FOREFATHERS AGREE...CANT ARGUE THE FACTS. If you don't agree, you are free to leave America and become subject to King George's British Monarchy, where most of you came from.
  • by Alina Location: Tally on May 5, 2012 at 06:32 AM
    These are the issues: 1. Pray your way in your own non-government funded space. The houses of whatever worship-kind are numerous. Pick one and pray there. The U.S. Constitution clearly calles for a separation of church and state. It isn't concerned about whether everyone likes it. 2. No one in this country likes to be told what to do (clearly) yet, ONE particular religious group cries "victim, we're being oppressed" (absurd!)? In such Gov-funded public places it's un-constitutional. If you wish to pray in public where it's sanctioned by a government, then move to Iran, also a "nation under God." The reason is "bothers" so many is simply because we all don't believe the same things and that's okay. Don't tell someone else that just because you want to do things "your way" in a government-funded forum like a PUBLIC school that another parent MUST allow their children to be subjected to the private, religious beliefs of another. Why do those who wish to not hear the "prayer" must be the ones to step outside or be offended? Because since they are not a member of a particular religion it's okay to "offend" them? This is what bothers me. So you asked "truth" and I said how I feel. I know those here touting their religious thoughts won't care if this is what bothers me, because all you're concerned with is what bothers you. Right?
  • by Kay on May 5, 2012 at 05:56 AM
    “Arrrr. To be a good follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, ye should drink much meade and surround yerself with as many buxom wenches as possible.” —Mosey on Flying Spaghetti Monsterism “Accept His Noodly Magnificence into your heart, into your soul, and ye shall forever be free. R'Amen.” —Ragu on Pastafarianism “In the Name of the Pasta, and of the Sauce, and of the Holy Meatballs…RAmen” —Ishmali Camuwundra on FSMism. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Pastafarianism, is the religious following of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, commonly abbreviated as FSM. According to Pasta-arianism, FSM is a benevolent supernatural entity who created the world some 4000 years ago while very drunk, although the world is intentionally built to make humans think it's older than it really is.
  • by Kay on May 5, 2012 at 05:51 AM
    The Condiments of Pastafarianism, also known as the eight “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts,” are the sacred commandments given to the Pirate Mosey, by the Flying Spaghetti Monster himself. While brooding atop Mount Salsa because he could not find a Pirate ship, Mosey received some advice from the Flying Spaghetti Monster in the form of ten stone tablets. There were originally ten “I’d Really Rather you Didn’ts” but two were dropped on the way back down the mountain, with eight remaining. This event “partly accounts for Pastafarians’ flimsy moral standards.” The Flying Spaghetti Monsters commandments address worship of Him, the treatment of people of other faiths, sexual conduct and nutrition:
  • by Debbie Location: Tallahassee on May 4, 2012 at 01:48 PM
    You guys, let me just say this. For those of you that do not believe in God, wait until you are looking the face of death in the eyes when looking upon someone you love. You know this person is a child of God and the pain is more than they can handle anymore. God is calling them home, when that moment happens see what there eyes are looking at, it is not you, they are looking past you and a peacefulness comes over them and a beautiful smile and then they are gone. May this be the way you go, but you have to believe. I have seen my loved ones, my grandfather, grandmother and niece all go home to heaven. Lets see who you call when you are loosing someone you love. I have seen the worst of the worst call on God in a time of need. So will you, guess what he will be there if you will only believe. May God have mercy on all of you. Our world is horrible and this is one of the main reasons today. People no longer fear God.
    • reply
      by Bobby on May 5, 2012 at 05:36 AM in reply to Debbie
      That's not true. It's hypocrites whom even Jesus despised. It's people with a stone in each hand ready to hurl at atheists, homosexuals, non-believers or whomever they fear at the moment.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 6, 2012 at 08:15 AM in reply to Debbie
      Debbie, how would you know? Your reference book (New Testament) is less than half complete. The Catholic Church threw half of the teachings of Jesus away because they weren't profitable. So when you are looking at the face of death, you better hope that St. Peter doesn't tell you that the discarded parts contained deal breaking info.
  • by truth on May 4, 2012 at 12:27 PM
    To all you athiest, homsexuals, nonbelievers what ever you call yourself at this moment, If as you say there is no god, then why does it bother you all so much when we pray????
    • reply
      by Bobby on May 4, 2012 at 03:24 PM in reply to truth
      It's just that after Sunday services let out you go right back to sinning Monday through Saturday.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 4, 2012 at 03:46 PM in reply to truth
      No one cares if you pray. Pray all you want! Where ever you want! When ever you want! No one is stopping you from praying. It's the fact that the Government is no place for favoring one religion. Stop pretending to be victims. That isn't the case at all.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 6, 2012 at 08:18 AM in reply to
        It doesn't at all, unless it is in a public, government sponsored place. Pray all you want in your homes or places of worship, but when you try to force it on the rest of us, or alienate those who are different from you and do not pray, well, that's not very christianlike behavior is it?
  • by no thank you on May 4, 2012 at 11:54 AM
    Why do so many people feel so insecure with their own lives and "thoughts" that they have to dictate what others MUST do? Why should any kid have to sit through minutes or hours of childish babbling about imaginary beings? Sure, if you want to pray, go ahead and do it on your own time, in a private place where other share your delusions. How many of these "good" christians will sit through a muslim, jewish or hindu ceremony while in a publicly supported school?? And note, for idiots like "truth" - just where does any atheist shove anything down your throat - or are you a catholic priest with a little atheist "boyfriend"? By "god's words" do you mean the garbage written by a bunch of drug-addled, power-crazed misogynists over a thousand years ago?
  • by nole82 Location: New York formerly Tallahassee on May 4, 2012 at 10:37 AM
    As usual the Governor is wrong. It is not the right thing to do since we are all part of America and America is diverse in its citizenry. Believe in your icons, idols and mysteries as you wish. Public school is not the place for forced prayer from one certain perspective. The right place for prayer and introspection is in your home and your houses of worship.
    • reply
      by Daniel on May 4, 2012 at 12:48 PM in reply to nole82
      An intelligent comment worthy of being post. You don't see them very often here.
  • by Anon on May 4, 2012 at 09:03 AM
    "Faith is believing in what you know ain't SO!" -Mark Twain
  • by Prayer Changes Things Location: Jacksonville on May 4, 2012 at 08:43 AM
    I feel that prayer should be in school, and if a parent doesn't want their child to participate; then they should have that option. It's not fair to the children and families that enjoy praying to not have that option to pray in school. I feel that schools may be a little safer if prayer was still available.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 4, 2012 at 10:24 AM in reply to Prayer Changes Things
      How about you pray to yourself and no one else has to know? I can look at your daughter and imagine all the things I want to do with her, but not say it out loud. No one else has to know.
    • reply
      by Daniel on May 4, 2012 at 10:26 AM in reply to Prayer Changes Things
      A moment of silence to allow any student with any religion to reflect is more than fair. Specifying a religion is ridiculous and needs to be stopped.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 4, 2012 at 02:42 PM in reply to Prayer Changes Things
      You have the option to home school or send your child to the private school of your choice. What is not fair is forcing your beliefs on other children with beliefs different than yours.
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