Legislation to create a moment of silence for prayer, reflection or meditation in South Dakota public schools has failed despite a push by Gov. Kristi Noem (R).

Noem vowed last year that she would call for legislation that “will allow us to pray in schools again.”

The bill that was eventually released would have allowed for a one-minute period of silence at the start of each school day. School employees would not have been permitted to interfere in how students chose to spend the time.

The Education Committee of the South Dakota House of Representatives voted 9-6 to kill the measure Jan. 21. Legislators said the bill was unnecessary, and some expressed concern that education officials had not been consulted.

State Rep. Mike Stevens (R-Yankton), who made the motion to reject the bill, called it an “answer looking for a problem.”


Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.

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