Governor Threatens to Veto Prayer Bill

NEW MARKET, Va. (WHSV) -- Prayer in public schools is being discussed in the General Assembly as some state leaders are trying to make it a part of the state code.

They are looking to give children the right to pray at school, as well as organize prayer groups, among other things.

Legislation that has already passed in the Senate and is expected to pass in the House would require school districts across the state to have policies giving students the right to prayer on school grounds, as well as to organize prayer groups, events, and clubs, wear religious clothing or items and express religious beliefs at forums.

The bill getting support in the General Assembly; however, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he will veto any sort of bill of this kind if it comes to his desk.

People who are against this prayer bill believe it will likely lead to Christian views and services, in particular overshadowing minority religions; however, supporters say it gives children religious rights and freedom that can really benefit them.

"I think it's sad that they're not allowed to, even without faculty, without administration, that they're allowed to meet on their own. It's kind of a safety zone for them to air different problems that they're having. It doesn't really sound like they're giving them the freedom to do what they choose to do," said Jeff Twomley, the vice principal for finance at the Shenandoah Valley Academy.

The bill now moves on to the House after passing largely along party lines in the Senate late last month.


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