'Minute of silence' will offer time for prayers in Oklahoma schools
ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) — Public schools in Oklahoma will be asked to implement one minute of silence at the beginning of each school day for students to pray, meditate or reflect.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education will send enforcement guidance and policies to school districts.
Schools will make an announcement ahead of the minute of silence explaining that students can use the time to pray if they choose to.
"I think that is why we are having problems today with a lot of society," said Kingston resident James Halman. "God has been taken out; people have no freedom any more."
Recommendations and concerns were originally brought to OSDE by a faith advisory council.
"What we want to do is make sure that our schools are protecting the religious freedoms of students and teachers," said State Superintendent of Education Ryan Walters. "So we are going to make sure there is a full minute, and that every student in the State of Oklahoma is being told that that minute is there for them to pray if they so choose."
Two other religious freedom recommendations were brought to the board — having the Ten Commandments displayed in schools and requiring students to take a Western civilization course. Those proposals remain under discussion.