Noem drafts bill to restore protection of prayer in classrooms

December 14, 2021

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Gov. Kristi Noem said Monday she has drafted legislation to create a moment of silence at the beginning of each day in South Dakota public schools, a move she said would restore protections for prayer in the classroom.

A draft of the bill said it will provide students and teachers with a reprieve from the frenzy of daily life and set a tone of decorum conducive to learning.

Students and teachers can can engage in voluntary prayer, reflection, meditation or other quiet, respectful activity during the minute of silence, the bill states.

The bill’s draft said the moment of silence should not be construed as a religious exercise.