Senate panel takes up bill allowing praying aloud in schools



An Indiana lawmaker questions how a bill that reaffirms students’ right to pray aloud in public schools would treat non-Christian religions.

Democratic state Rep. John Bartlett’s proposal requires school corporations to adopt a policy allowing for a “limited public forum” for prayer at school events like sports games or assemblies.

But Democratic Sen. Mark Stoops wonders how a school community would respond if a Muslim student or wiccan wanted to voice their religious views.

The bill had its first hearing before the Senate education committee on Wednesday. The panel didn’t hold a vote. The House previously approved the measure 83-12.

Supporters contend exposing students to religion could lead to better behavior, but concerns have arisen about the measure’s necessity and potential unintended consequences. Students may already pray quietly or silently.