School prayer bill clears Legislature

The state Senate gave final legislative approval Saturday to a bill that would allow students to initiate prayer at the student group activities at public schools.

No senator or representative voted against House Bill 724, which would authorize school authorities to permit public school students to gather for prayer before or after school or at any noninstructional time during the school day.

HB724, sponsored by state Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, goes to the governor’s desk after being signed by legislature leadership.

State Sen. Sharon Broome, D-Baton Rouge and who handled HB724 for Senate debate, said many experts argue that one of the reasons for the challenges in many communities comes from an absence of moral guidance that allowing students to pray, on their own, may help.

She said HB724 would apply to denominations.