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Atheist: Florida’s “Moment of Silence” Bill Encourages Teachers to Proselytize

Tallahassee, FL—Today, American Atheists’ Florida Assistant State Director Devon Graham testified in opposition to S946, a bill that would force public school teachers to lead students in a moment of silence at the start of every school day.

“It is difficult for me to reconcile how this time of meditation can be perceived of as anything but religious in nature when it explicitly amends a statute entitled, ‘Permitting study of the Bible and religion’ (Section 1003.45),” said Graham to the Senate Education Committee.

“As a mother of two children enrolled in Florida’s public schools, I am concerned that a moment of silence law would encourage educators to engage in improper proselytization,” said Graham. “There are no guidelines whatsoever for teachers on how to discuss the moment of silence in a way that does not promote religious practice.”

“Children who choose not to participate or outwardly object to unnecessary evangelization could be subjected to bullying,” she added. “We all want what’s best for our kids, and this isn’t it.”

Watch Devon Graham’s testimony here (at 1:27:13) and read her submitted testimony below.