COLUMBIA, S.C. - Four South Carolina state representatives are sponsoring legislation that would allow more prayer in public schools.
State Rep. Richie Yow, R-Chesterfield, said that one bill would let teachers conduct school-led prayer. Another would allow teachers to take part in student-led prayer.
"It's saying that she has the right to participate just like the child does,” Yow said. “There's no force in anything. All that it's saying, is that a teacher has the right to be protected by her job and if that teacher wants to bless her food, or to say her prayers, she has that right."
The bills are in committee and haven't been put up for a vote.
Critics say while the Supreme Court has ruled against school-led prayers in mandatory events like school assemblies, student-led prayers and faith-based student groups are already allowed.
A South Carolina resident said that he doesn't see any issue with the bills.
“If my teacher, when I was in middle school, was praying at her desk or praying with a couple of students, and I was agnostic, atheist, Jewish whatever, not a part of her prayer, I don't think I'd feel intimidated or uncomfortable," Alan Patrick said.
Another resident said that it is a touchy issue and understands how others would not be on board.
"Well, I mean it does say in the Constitution about separation between state and church, so I think that’s important to keep that separate," James Hart said.
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