WRITTEN STATEMENT BY STATE REPRESENTATIVE REVEREND AL EDWARDS
PRAYER IS BACK IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
STATE REPRESENTATIVE REVEREND AL EDWARDS FINALLY PASSED LEGISLATION INTO LAW DEALING WITH PRAYER, REFLECTION AND MEDITATION BACK INTO OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN TEXAS ACCORDING TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION HOUSE BILL 392 & HOUSE BILL 393
For many years Representative Reverend Al Edwards has been working to get prayer into public schools. On December 28, 1994 Representative Al Edwards filed House Bill 392 and House Bill 393 with the intent of (a) having a period of silence and meditation in public schools before the beginning of each class day and (b) implementing voluntary and silent prayer back into public schools, according to the United States Constitution. Both of the bills after having been amended have been passed into law by being incorporated into the Education bill formally known as Senate bill 1.
The prayer in school, reflection and meditation language that is now the new state law which becomes effective immediately reads as follows:
-House bill 392 as amended by Representative Al Edwards says: districts may provide for silence at the beginning of the first class of each school day during which a student may reflect or meditate.
-House bill 393 as amended by Representative Al Edwards says: a Public school student has an absolute right to pray in school individually, voluntarily, and silently. In a manner that does not disrupt the instructional or other activities of the school. A person may not require, encourage, or coerce a student in or refrain from such prayer during any school activity.
Historically, prayer had been a part of the public school system until the late 1960's when Madelyn O'Hare along with others convinced the Supreme Court to take structured prayer out of the public school system. As an esteemed leader Representative Al Edwards felt it was not only his duty but a personal calling for him to take proper legislative steps to ensure that prayer was effectively implemented back into the public school system according to the United States Constitution, in addition he was able to get a period of silent reflection and meditation.
The bill has now been signed into law. It is amazing what persistence, hard work, prayer, fair and determination will do. It was with the help of a number of legislators: democratic, conservative, and republican that we were able to get this legislation passed. This will clear up what Texans can and can not do as it relates to prayer, reflection and meditation in our public schools. This is very important because there has been so much misunderstanding and confusion on the part of our school superintendents, principals, students, parents, and teachers as it relates to the prayer in school issue. A number of people have been reprimanded, suspended and even fired because of their beliefs and participation relating to prayer in public school. Thanks to God, with the new state law this Confusion should not have to occur again.
REPRESENTATIVE AL EDWARDS WILL BE CONTACTING ALL TEXAS SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS REQUESTING THAT THEY IMMEDIATELY IMPLEMENT THE NEW STATE LAW WHICH WILL ALLOW STUDENTS TO VOLUNTARJILY AND SILENTLY PRAY, HAVE A MOMENT OF REFLECTION AND MEDITATION AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH SCHOOL DAY ACCORDING TO OUR NEW STATE LAW.