2019 Regular Session
By: Representative Calhoun
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-13-8, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE A BRIEF PERIOD OF QUIET REFLECTION IN PUBLIC SCHOOL CLASSROOMS AT THE START OF EACH SCHOOL DAY; TO AMEND SECTION 37-13-163, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS TO BE DISPLAYED IN EACH PUBLIC SCHOOL CLASSROOM; TO REQUIRE TEACHERS TO HAVE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS RECITED ALOUD AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH SCHOOL DAY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-13-8, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-13-8. (1) In each
public school classroom, the local school governing board * * *
shall require a brief
period of quiet reflection for not more than sixty (60) seconds at the opening
of school upon every school day.
(2) The moment of quiet
reflection * * *
required by subsection (1) of this section is not intended to be and
shall not be conducted as a religious service or exercise but is considered an
opportunity for a moment of silent reflection.
SECTION 2. Section 37-13-163, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-13-163. (1) Any teacher, administrator, school council or local school board in any public school district in this state may post in a public school building, classroom or at any school event or read from any historical document or writing relating to the founding of the United States of America or this state, or both, notwithstanding the fact that such materials may include religious quotations, references or illustrations. There shall be no content-based censorship of American or Mississippi History, heritage or culture based on any religious references contained in such documents, writings or records.
(2) Principals and teachers in each public elementary and secondary school of each school district in this state shall display on an appropriately framed background with minimum dimensions of eleven (11) inches by fourteen (14) inches, the Ten Commandments in each classroom and the following motto of the United States of America in each classroom, school auditorium and school cafeteria under his or her supervision: "IN GOD WE TRUST." For purposes of this provision, "classroom" shall mean any room of a public school where instruction takes place.
SECTION 3. The school board of each school district shall require the teachers in that school district to have the Ten Commandments recited aloud at the beginning of the first hour of class each day that school is in session. Any student or teacher who objects to reciting the Ten Commandments must be excused from participating without penalty.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2019.