Louisiana House rejects proposal to expand prayer in schools

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawmakers in the Louisiana House have refused to pass a measure that could allow school employees to pray with students during the class day.

With a 68-21 vote Wednesday, they gutted the proposal from Republican Sen. Ryan Gatti.

As passed by the Senate, the measure would have allowed teachers and other workers to pray with students during the workday, if parents of every student in attendance submit a signed request and the prayer is student-initiated.

House lawmakers stripped that language, urged by conservative members who said the change likely would provoke a lawsuit that could undermine existing so-called "religious freedom" laws.

They left other provisions tweaking current law allowing student-led prayer outside of class time, then sent the proposal back to the Senate for consideration.

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Senate Bill 512: www.legis.la.gov


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