Student prayer bill making progress in Tallahassee

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ORLANDO, Fla.,None - A Florida lawmaker is hoping to make it legal for students to lead prayer in school. His bill received bi-partisan support in committee this week.

Students can lead cheers at football games but based on court rulings, they cannot lead prayers.

Florida Senator Gary Siplin of Orlando is working to make student-led prayer in schools and at school events legal once again.

“It is completely voluntary.  But we don not want any influence from the principal, the counselor, the dean, the coach or parents,” said Siplin.

The bill would allow school districts to decide if they want to allow student-led prayer in school. 

“It would give them a sense of moral value and maybe there would not be so much crime and violence,” said parent Mercedes Davis.

Florida Senator Arthenia Joyner of Tampa cast the lone no vote Thursday out of concern prayer would make some students uncomfortable.

“I do not think it would make her uncomfortable and if she wanted to participate that is fine too,” said parent Tracy Klingler.

Klingler does not think a new law should be necessary to allow prayer despite court rulings against it.

“It seems like they would have more important things to do than stop kids that wanted prayer,” said Klingler.

A spokesperson for Orange County Public School said students are allowed to pray like Tim Tebow as long as it is individually.

The ACLU said in a new release that the bill is unconstitutional.  The organization said some students would feel compelled by peer pressure to participate in prayers.