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Two Minutes of ‘Silent Reflection’ Could Soon Start Off Florida School Days

November 26th, 2019 by Jake Stofan

Students would be required to take between a one and two minute moment of silence to start off each school day if two state lawmakers get their way.

Many teachers already offer students the option, but the new legislation would make the reflection period mandatory.

With all the distractions in life it can be hard to find the time to center yourself, especially for students.

“Every now and then you need to pause,” said Pastor R. B. Holmes with Bethel Baptist Church in Tallahassee.

Holmes said a minute or two of reflection can go a long way.

“And try to seek God’s will and direction that would give a person a sense of calmness and a sense of confidence in these trying times that students are going through,” said Holmes.

Under current law, school boards can authorize teachers to offer one to two minutes of silent prayer or meditation at the start of the school day.

The new legislation would make it mandatory, but also remove the words prayer and meditation from the statue.

Andrea Messina with the Florida School Boards Association said because the new legislation would also prohibit teachers from telling students how to use their silent time it helps ensure the separation of church and state.

“It’s a moment of silence for each individual student to use as he or she chooses,” said Messina.

The legislation also directs teachers to encourage parents to discuss how to best use the period of silent reflection with their children.

And with the holiday season just around the corner, Pastor Holmes said maybe we could all use a little time for silent refection.

“One of the reasons why Abraham Lincoln signed the proclamation for Thanksgiving, he was saying for the country to pause, meditate, reflect,” said Holmes.

If the bill becomes law the silent reflection period would start during the 2020 school year.

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