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 law previously allowed schools to offer a moment for prayer or meditation. The new law deletes that language and requires schools to offer a moment of silence. 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.