Noem announces bill to guarantee opportunity for daily prayer in schools

NoemPIERRE, S.D. — Acting on a promise made earlier in 2021, Governor Kristi Noem on Monday released the text of legislation intended to require a moment of silence in schools to begin the day.

“Every student deserves the opportunity to begin their day with a calm, silent moment,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “I hope students will take this opportunity to say a quick prayer or reflect on their upcoming day. However they choose to take advantage of this time, it will be beneficial to students and teachers alike.”

An email from Noem’s Communications Director Ian Fury says that the bill will “guarantee an opportunity to pray in schools at the start of every school day.”

The text of her bill says that students and teachers may engage in “voluntary prayer, reflection, meditation, or other quiet, respectful activity during the moment of silence,” and that neither school employees or students can interfere with how the moment is observed.

Noem is proposing the addition of a new section that would prohibit schools from conducting the moment of silence as a religious exercise.

Categories: Local News, Politics & Elections, South Dakota News