Senate committee approves bill to let Louisiana teachers pray with students

By Wilborn P. Nobles III

Members of Louisiana’s Senate Thursday (April 19) supported another bill that would allow teachers to pray with students in public schools. Senate Bill 512 is now moving to the Senate floor after an education committee voted 5-1 in favor of it.

The Senate bill would expand upon existent law that allows school employees to volunteer to supervise voluntary, student-initiated, student-led prayer. The law currently allows school staff to only participate in the gathering if it occurs before or after the employee’s work day.

Sen. Ryan Gatti, R-Bossier City, the bill’s sponsor, introduced the proposal in the Senate on April 2. He stressed to senators Thursday that his bill allows a school employee to participate in student-initiated prayer during the work day only if participation does not interfere with their assigned work duties. The employee will be able to do so upon the request of one or more students, Gatti said.

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