Confusion about prayer in public schools just got clearer. Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law House Bill 724. House Bill 724 basically permits public school students to gather for prayer; but that gathering has to be authorized. Prayer outside instructional time is fine and permitted before and after school.
State Representative Katrina Jackson authored House Bill 724. Jackson says she wanted to define what can and cannot take place in terms of prayer at schools. That clarification goes for teachers, parents and the community taking part on school grounds.”
“You know how sometimes you get to work early and you hadn't clocked in yet whether or not those teachers who were asked to come and volunteer and lead prayer could or could not. So, the bill does that as well,” Rep Katrina Jackson.
Eric Treuil the director of UL-Lafayette's Chi Alpha – a Christian fellowship, understands the challenges students face. “There have been issues where students invited a pastor and the school had said no,” says Treuil.
Treuil believes it's a shame that a bill had to be drafted. He says freedom of religion is a constitutional right that has been eroding. “Today and through different entities that have been pulling those rights back. This House Bill helps to solidify that,” says Treuil.
“It just clears the deck to make sure that everyone across the board understands that Christian students can gather,” adds Treuil.
“School systems and others were confused on what students could and could not do,” explains Rep. Jackson.