Public schools across Illinois began observing a state-mandated daily moment of silence this month after a federal judged lifted an injunction that had barred the 2007 law’s enforcement.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, in Chicago, declared that the state law requiring schools to observe a daily period for “silent prayer or for silent reflection on the anticipated activities of the day” is constitutional because it doesn’t specify prayer.
The justices noted that legislators who wrote the law had stressed the moment of silence’s secular and practical purpose in settling students down at the start of the school day.
Rob Sherman, an atheist whose daughter challenged the law, said they would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A version of this article appeared in the January 26, 2011 edition of Education Week as Moment of Silence Returns to Illinois