A bill that would allow teachers and other school personnel to participate in student-led religious activities is on its way to the Tennessee Senate after unanimously passing the House on Thursday 93-0.
“I was so excited to see that today, I was texting every one at school telling them this is so great,” said Loretto High School junior Morgan Ingram who watched the vote from the House gallery.
She told Nashville's News 2 teachers or coaches at her Lawrence County school is banned from student-led Fellowship of Christian Athletes prayers prior or after games.
“Now that we can have them before and after school legally, that is a major uplift and a major step forward for our school,” she said.
The proposal allows school personnel to participate in such activities as long as they don't carry into the classroom or conflict with the assignments of the participant.
Sponsors of the bill brought it in part to support, a practice by students and parents who gather around schoolyard flagpoles to pray.
“This will hopefully allow our citizens their right of expression and faith,” said House sponsor Phillip Johnson of Pegram.
“After football games when the Fellowship of Christian Athletes kneels in the middle of the field, coaches will no longer have to walk away,” Johnson explained.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee has said such prayer events are within the law as long as they are initiated and led by students.