Florida law already “encourages” students to participate in “silent prayer,” but HB 529 will require that minute-or-two of reflection.
“It’s something that’s important to be able to provide each student the ability, every day, to be able to reflect and to be able to pray as they see fit,” DeSantis said during a Monday press conference. “The idea that you can just push God out of every institution, and be successful — I’m sorry, our founding fathers did not believe that.”
Florida is also one of 15 other states that encourage public school students to participate in a moment of silence, a legislative analyst told The Associated Press.
A Monday press release from DeSantis notes that the Florida Leads Budget to support the state’s Jewish community includes $4 million in security funding for Florida’s Jewish Day Schools; $1.35 million for the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Pete; $400,000 for the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach and other types of expenditures to support Florida’s Jewish people and Israel.
“Every family in our state should be able to send their children to school and know that they will be protected from harm and be able to practice their faith,” DeSantis said in a Monday statement. “I’m proud to sign these bills today to help protect religious freedom in Florida and increase the safety and security of our Jewish communities.”
He continued: “I will continue to make sure that in Florida we root out anti-Semitism, and that every day we show our support for Israel and our Jewish communities.”