Moment of Silence

A moment of reflection to start the day.



State Governor Ron DeSantis signs bill mandating moment of silence.

Randy Francois, Staff Writer

After the signing of House Bill 529 by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the 2021 school year introduced a new moment of silence procedure. Gov. DeSantis signed the bill into law in June enacting a mandatory moment of silence at the beginning of each day administered either by morning announcements, or the teacher of the first period of the day. However, the law also prohibits teachers from making any suggestions to the students on how they choose to use the moment of silence given.

The moment of silence, in my opinion, is a great addition to the morning routine to get momentary peace, to actually reflect, or to do some homework at the last minute. The flexibility of the moment of silence truly gives students freedom on how they use the moment of silence as long as they do not disrupt anyone else and adhere to the moment of silence by actually being quiet.

Following the year long pandemic where students were quarantined at home, a moment of silence to reflect on the difficult times students and teachers have been through in all areas of life can make a huge difference in their mental capacity. Many students had grown accustomed to the virtual setting, which allowed them to sleep in more on school days. This moment of silence can also be beneficial to teachers by giving them a momentary peace in the hectic mornings in public schools all over the state.

This bill is also a gesture of concern and shows that he sympathizes and understands the difficult year students have been through due to the pandemic ravaging our world. From the food shortages, outbreaks of COVID-19 and the entire year of virtual learning, the education system has been through truly difficult times. Throughout this stressful time, a moment of silence is a refresher for students to regain focus and composure in order to have a great and productive day.

Some say it is a violation of the first amendment and an attempt to get children to pray in schools. There have been many cases in which a moment of silence in schools mandate was shut down by the Supreme Court due to the lack of separation of education and church. In the 1985 court case Wallace v. Jaffree, Alabama attempted to enact a moment of silence for prayer in schools and was shot down. The Supreme Court did, however, mention that a moment of silence is constitutional only if it is genuinely neutral, similar to the one DeSantis mandated.