July-August 2021 Church & State Magazine | People & Events

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill June 14 that requires all public schools in the state to sponsor a one-minute for prayer or meditation.

Florida already had a law allowing for such moments, but the new law makes them mandatory. DeSantis signed the bill at an orthodox synagogue in the city of Surfside, during a ceremony which the Associated Press (AP) described as having the “air of a campaign event.”

The AP reported that Rabbi Sho­lom Lipskar of Shul of Bal Harbour  introduced DeSantis as a “great governor and future world leader.” DeSantis is running for reelection next year, and there has been speculation that he might seek the presidency in 2024.

During the signing, DeSantis remarked, “It’s something that’s important to be able to provide each student the ability, every day, to be able to reflect and to be able to pray as they see fit.  The idea that you can just push God out of every institution, and be successful – I’m sorry, our Founding Fathers did not believe that.”

DeSantis was accompanied by state Sen. Jason Pizzo (D-Miami-Dade) who insisted that no students will be forced to pray.

“It’s like a moment of meditation, relaxation, connection,” Pizzo said.