A bill that would allow “inspirational messages,” including prayers, to be given during any school event, was passed on the House floor today with an 88-27 vote. The bill is now headed to the governor’s desk.
The bill has raised countless concerns from critics, including legal experts, who warn that it is unconstitutional and would throw school districts into “costly litigation.”
In an effort to make this point, state Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, and state Rep. Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, introduced amendments that would stipulate whether the state or school boards would shoulder the costs of the litigation the law would likely spur. Both amendments failed.
As it is written, the bill does not restrict what kind of messages can be delivered during school events. School faculty in K-12 schools would be prohibited from monitoring the messages, leading many lawmakers to raise concerns that the measure, if adopted, could end up giving students the ability to deliver hateful or racist messages at school events.