Under this proposed Texas law, would children who dont want to participate in prayer or Bible readings or religious texts have to leave the classroom?
Read this bill and tell me if this isn't one of the stupidest bills the Texas Lege has come up with yet. Maybe it's written for ignorant Texans that don't know nothing stops any kid from reading the Bible or praying as long as they aren't disrupting class and paying attention during instructional time. They can pray before school, at lunch, etc. Nobody stops 'em. They can even bring a Bible into school, just like any kid can bring in a so-called Banned Book to read. If it makes a child feel better about being a sitting duck shooting target because Republicans refuse to pass gun control, bless their little hearts.
But this laughable bill, in it's attempt to prevent people who believe in the constitution from suing govt or schools, talks about permission slips, But get this.
d) policy adopted under Subsection (a):
(1)must include provisions ensuring a prayer or reading of the Bible or other religious text is not provided in the physical presence of, within the hearing of, or in another manner
which would constitute an injury in fact within the meaning of the United States or Texas Constitution on a person for whom a signed consent form has not been submitted under Subsection (b)(1) or has been revoked under Subsection (c);
(So, students not participating CANNOT BE IN THE PRESENCE OF OR HEAR the religious stuff. Who gets sent out of the room? If a teacher wants to participate, who watches which half of the students? Or suppose there are muslims who want to pray, that make a THIRD group) This puts an extra onus on, who, TEACHERS who, assuming they are ones in charge of this little prayer time, are responsible to make sure students are out of hearing of this stuff. If I'm a teacher, EVEN IF THE SCHOOL BOARD VOTES FOR THIS, do I really want to have to make sure all kids did or didn't sign a permission slip and somehow shepherd one group or another out of hearing or PHYSICAL PRESENCE? Bah. Right now kids can pray if they want and there is none of this extra nonsense.
Also, remember that SCOTUS decision about that coach in Washington about prayer. He said he knelt and prayed on the field AFTER THE GAMES. So, get this point, nobody was coerced into joining him. But who's going to be responsible for these little meetings? As SCOTUS said about the coach,
the justices in the majority emphasized that the coach’s prayers came after the games were over and at a time when he wasn’t responsible for students and was free to do other things.
But again, a teacher is not just responsible for some of the kids in the class but ALL. Maybe they would take a teacher who had a free period or a planning period and make them do the separate prayer meeting. That would fall on probably the same people every time because only people who wanted coercive religion in school would volunteer for that and the school could not force a teacher to do that.
and (2)In order to comply with this subsection, may require that the period of prayer and reading of the Bible or other religious text be provided:
(A before normal school hours;
(B)nly in classrooms or other areas in which a consent form under Subsection (b)(1) has been submitted for every employee and student, which may include an entire district or
school campus if a consent form has been submitted for each employee and student at the campus; or C)by any other method recommended by the
attorney general or legal counsel for the district or school.
(Oh, you mean whatever Ken Paxton the indicted crook who cheated on his wife suggests) Side note that Angela Paxton, wife of Ken Paxton is a cosponsor for this bill. Which Ken Paxton is this? Oh, right, the one that the Committee on General Investigation hauled up to talk about the whistleblowers against him. Such a fine example of ethics.
Here's the best part. If a attorney general (crook Paxton at this point) decides to defend a school district doing this unconstitutional crapola, and they lose, the state is responsible for paying costs. Gee, lovely act for the taxpayer .
AND with this bill, the school district MUST take a vote about what they would do about this having religious text and prayer as a provision. Really? Why, since kids can pray anyway if they want, is this even a consideration that is unconstitutional and would make public schools worse.
Be sure and read the Texas Constitution.
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