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Illinois schools used to allow teachers to observe a moment of silence if they chose. Not many teachers did this. Probably because it’s just a waste of time.

State Senator Kimberly Lightford didn’t like the idea of teachers deciding what’s best for their classrooms, so she sponsored a bill to make the moment of silence mandatory.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman stopped this from happening at one school.

As of Thursday, the same judge “issued a preliminary injunction barring school districts statewide from observing the moment of silence.”

Lovely. It’s the right decision. It’s unconstitutional to force the silence upon everyone.

But the beauty of this is that Lightford’s plan to force a moment of silence in the classroom has backfired. Now, no moment of silence is allowed. Even the voluntary ones.


As Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn writes:

Let this be a lesson to Lightford and the lightweight lawmakers who can’t resist the urge to micromanage: Be careful what you wish for.

We know who to thank for all this, too:

… Gettleman previously stopped the law from being observed in northwest suburban Township High School District 214 after atheist activist Rob Sherman challenged the law on behalf of his daughter, Dawn, a student at Buffalo Grove High School.

In March, Gettleman expanded the case into a class-action suit, meaning students and school districts from Chicago to Cairo could participate. That opened the way for the temporary injunction to be expanded statewide Thursday.

Dawn Sherman, 14, said students at her school laughed at the silent moment when it was first implemented.

“I was pretty much thinking that it was wasting my time,” said Sherman.

Rob’s very excited about this…

The federal judge handling the unconstitutional Illinois public school “Moment of Silence” law case today expanded his preliminary injunction statewide. Now, every public school in Illinois is barred from doing the moment of silence at the beginning of each school day. Previously, the injunction applied only to Buffalo Grove High School and the other schools in High School District 214. I’m so proud of my daughter, Dawn. She took on the entire Illinois General Assembly and won. Last September, Dawn got God banned from homecoming at Buffalo Grove High School. Now, she’s gotten God banned from every public school in the State of Illinois.

God isn’t banned from school. And it’s foolish to say that. Anyone can pray in school if they want to. Anyone can bring the Bible to school. The only thing that is banned (and rightfully so) is a forced moment of silence — prayer in disguise, as the original law stated.

Rob is just trying to shove the decision in the faces of religious people. It’s not helping.

[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]