Texas Requires Minute of Silence for Public Schools

April 9, 2003

Source: San Antonio Express-News

On April 9, 2003 the San Antonio Express-News reported that "the Texas Senate voted Tuesday to require the state's 4.1 million public school students to pause for a daily minute of silent prayer, meditation or reflection... The measure, by Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, also mandates that school districts require students to recite the Texas and U.S. pledges of allegiance before the minute of silence... Students could be excused from the pledge recitals upon written notice from a parent or guardian, but they wouldn't be able to opt out of a minute of silence... Will Harrell, executive director of the ACLU of Texas, predicted changes will be offered during the House debate to protect the rights of students to roll out prayer rugs, if needed, or speak aloud in tongues in accord with personal religious beliefs."