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Prayer In School Defined In The Code Of Alabama Laws

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 8548

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jan 31 2013 8:48 AM

ALABAMA:   In a review of the Code of Alabama, the laws passed by the Alabama Legislature, the people we trust to get Alabama  moving forward.

When searching for a law, I ran across this law. One that I did not know existed. It seems the Alabama Legislature passed a law in this state as a prayer that permission is given to cite in schools:

Section 16-1-20

Period of silence for meditation at beginning of first class in public schools.

At the commencement of the first class each day in the first through the sixth grades in all public schools, the teacher in charge of the room in which each such class is held shall announce that a period of silence, not to exceed one minute in duration, shall be observed for meditation, and during any such period silence shall be maintained and no activities engaged in.

(Acts 1978, No. 662, p. 955, § 1.)

Section 16-1-20.2

School prayer.

From henceforth, any teacher or professor in any public educational institution within the State of Alabama, recognizing that the Lord God is one, at the beginning of any homeroom or any class, may pray, may lead willing students in prayer, or may lead the willing students in the following prayer to God:

Almighty God, You alone are our God. We acknowledge You as the Creator and Supreme Judge of the world. May Your justice, Your truth, and Your peace abound this day in the hearts of our countrymen, in the counsels of our government, in the sanctity of our homes and in the classrooms of our schools in the name of our Lord. Amen.

(Acts 1982, 2nd Ex. Sess., No. 82-735, p. 190, § 1.)

Section 16-1-20.3

Student-initiated voluntary prayer.

(a) The legislative intent and purpose for this section is to protect the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to define for the citizens of Alabama the rights and privileges that are accorded them on public school and other public property and at school-related events, and to provide guidance to public school officials on the rights and requirements of law they must apply. Further, the intent and purpose of the Legislature is to properly accommodate the free exercise of religious rights of its student citizens in the public schools and at public school events as mandated by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the judicial interpretations thereof as given by the United States Supreme Court.

(b) On public school, other public, or other property, non-sectarian, non-proselytizing student-initiated voluntary prayer, invocations and/or benedictions, shall be permitted during compulsory or non-compulsory school-related student assemblies, school-related student sporting events, school-related graduation or commencement ceremonies, and other school-related student events.

(c) Nothing in this section shall otherwise diminish the right of any student or person to exercise his or her rights of free speech and religion, including prayer, as permitted by the United States Constitution and the Alabama Constitution on public school or other public property, or other property, at times or events other than those stated in subsection (b).

(d) The exercise of these rights on public school or other public property, or on other property for school-related activities, by students or others, shall not be construed to indicate any support, approval, or sanction by the State of Alabama, any political subdivision thereof, municipal corporation, governmental entity of any description, or any agent or employee of any governmental entity of the contents of any such prayer, invocation, benediction, or other activity, or be an unconstitutional use of any public school property or other public property, or be the promotion or establishment of any religion or religious belief.

(Acts 1993, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 93-850, p. 77, §§1-4.)

Section 16-1-20.4

Period of quiet reflection.

(a) The Legislature of Alabama finds that in the hectic society of today all too few citizens are able to experience even a moment of quiet reflection before plunging headlong into the activities of daily life. Young citizens are particularly affected by the absence of an opportunity for a moment of quiet reflection. The Legislature finds that our young, and society as a whole, would be well served if students in the public schools were afforded a moment of quiet reflection at the beginning of each school day and at the opening of school athletic events and graduation ceremonies.

(b) At the opening of school every day in each public school classroom, the teacher in charge shall conduct a brief period of quiet reflection for 60 seconds with the participation of every pupil in the classroom.

(c) At the beginning of every school athletic event and graduation ceremony, the principal of the school, or his or her designee, shall conduct a brief period of quiet reflection for 60 seconds.

(d) The moment of quiet reflection authorized by subsection (b) and subsection (c) is not intended to be and shall not be conducted as a religious service or exercise, but shall be considered an opportunity for a moment of silent reflection on the anticipated activities of the day or event.

(Act 98-381, p. 715, §1; Act 2001-428, p. 556, §1.)

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