Jewish World Review
http://www.jewishworldreview.com | (UPI) -- The Texas Senate Wednesday approved a bill that would require public school students to recite the U.S. and Texas pledges of allegiance and observe of a minute of silence every school day.
The Senate passed the legislation 27-4 and sent it on to the House where a similar bill is already under consideration. The measure would replace a current law that gives local school boards the option of authorizing schools to observe a moment of silence each day.
The bill's author, state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, said it's important for children to develop a sense of loyalty and pride in their country and their state. He said the pledge was a part of the school day when he grew up.
"You began it by reciting the pledge allegiance to the United States flag and I think we need to return to that," the senator said.
Wentworth said the Texas pledge of allegiance has become more popular in recent years so it was added to the proposed law.
Although some legislators have said the bill is an attempt to open the door to school prayer Wentworth said they are wrong.
Wentworth's bill states that the minute of silence would come after the recitation of the pledges and allow each student to "reflect, pray, meditate or engage in any other silent activity that is not likely to interfere with or distract another student."
Several states have passed or considered similar bills since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled two years ago that Virginia schools could observe a moment of silence.
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