The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

February 12, 2014

Bill seeks to let Alabama public school teachers read prayers

MONTGOMERY —

An Alabama lawmaker is seeking to let public school teachers begin each day by reading opening prayers that were given in Congress.

The House Education Policy held a public hearing today on the legislation.

The bill would set aside 15 minutes at the start of each school day to study the procedures of Congress, and give a verbatim reading of a congressional opening prayer.

Bill sponsor, Rep. Steve Hurst, says teachers could choose a prayer that related to the day's lesson. He says teachers might choose a prayer that was said on a particular day in history.

Opponents say the proposal is unconstitutional.

Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, says the proposal is teacher-led prayer being dressed up as a civics lesson.

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