Florida Gov. DeSantis signs bill requiring schools hold at least one minute of silence for students to pray

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill Monday that would require at least one minute of silence every day, so children have the option to pray, meditate, ponder, etc.

On Monday, Governor DeSantis visited the Shul of Bal Harbour, a Jewish community center in Surfside, Florida, to sign the bill. The governor signed a second bill too, one that would expand the role of volunteer ambulance services. “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. “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.” Governor DeSantis blushed when Rabbi Sholom Lipskar introduced him as a “great governor and future world leader.” It has been speculated that DeSantis might run for president in 2024.

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The ambulance bill allows some volunteer first responders to use emergency lights and sirens on their private vehicles when responding to emergencies. Orthodox Jews rely on these volunteer ambulance services to help overcome religious sensitivities that prevent them from using traditional emergency services. DeSantis used the event to show his support for Israel, which he visited during his first year in office. During his speech, he called the United Nations corrupt, saying the world body does more to sanction Israel than criticize China, which he grouped with what he calls “rogue regimes”.

As DeSantis began speaking, authorities had to forcibly remove a dissident from the hall. It was unclear what the man was trying to say as police pulled him away, most of his words inaudible to those watching a broadcast of the event. Florida is now one of 15 states that requires its public schools to hold a moment of silence. Before the legislation was signed, the state was among 18 other states that gave schools the option to have a moment of silence for prayer.

State Senate Democrat Jason Pizzo, the only Democrat to take the stage with the governor, championed the bill in the Senate. He also supports the moment of silence legislation, saying students wouldn’t be required to pray during the moments of silence. “It’s like a moment of meditation, relaxation, connection,” he said. 


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