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=========================================================== = This file was downloaded from a Christian occult = = BBS, and should be regarded as suspect in areas of = = factuality. The Christian cult has seldom displayed = = any aversion to lying to achive their agendas. drice = =========================================================== TENNESSEE LAWMAKERS VOTE TO PERMIT STUDENT-INITIATED "VOLUNTARY" PRAYER NASHVILLE, Tenn. (EP) -- A bill allowing for student- initiated prayer at public school noncompulsory events was passed by the Tennessee House and Senate May 19. The bill, sponsored in the Tennessee House by Representative Eugene Davidson (D.-Adams) and Senate by Senator Donald Wright (R.-Gallatin) will allow public schools to accommodate the free speech[sic] and exercise rights[sic] of students who desire voluntarily to initiate and give benedictions, invocations or prayers in the schools or on school property [and thus violate the rights of others] during noncompulsory school events. "This law says school officials may permit nonsectarian and nonproselytizing voluntary prayer at public school noncompulsory student assemblies, such as commencement services and sporting, events if the prayer is initiated and given by student volunteers," said Russell Heldman, an attorney for the Rutherford Institute who provided legal counsel to the bill's sponsors. The bill is based on the Free Speech Clause of the Tennessee Constitution and the 1992 Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Jones v. Clear Creek Independent School District, which upheld nonsectarian and nonproselytizing student-initiated voluntary invocations or benedictions at a public high school. The bill does not call for any public school official to direct the performance of any prayer and does not deal with the rights of teachers and principals to pray. Tennessee Governor Ned McWherter said he would not veto the bill; it becomes law immediately if he signs it, or on or about June 3 if he does not.

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