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Illinois' Moment of Silence in Legal Limbo

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A federal judge decreed Illinois schools are free to ignore a newly-minted law that mandates a moment of silence in public schools.

An atheist parent in a suburban Chicago school is challenging the moment of silence law. A federal judge says he’ll soon determine whether it promotes school prayer. In the meantime, he wants that school to steer clear of the mandate. Other Illinois schools have the option of following the law or not.

The law’s supporters take this as a defeat. State representative William Davis sponsored the measure.

DAVIS: It’s almost like taking away a civil liberty to me, because the bill has choice built into it. We’re asking them to observe a moment of silence you know, but again, what they students do with that moment of silence, is their choice. So, now the judge has taken away choice.

Davis says he may redraft the law to take the word prayer out of its title.

I’m Shawn Allee, Chicago Public Radio.

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