Generic School Photo(Photo: Thinkstock)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - School days across Arkansas would begin with a moment of silence under a bill passed by the state House of Representatives.
"I think that everybody needs a little bit of silence ...," said Henry Rodgers, a young Arkansan.
The bill by Republican Rep. Debra Hobbs of Rogers passed on a 79-4 vote Monday with no discussion prior to the vote.
Rep. Hobbs said a resident of the Rogers district approached her with the idea.
"He thought it was important for our children to have that one minute at the beginning of the day just to slow down and catch their breaths and get ready for the school day," said Rep. Hobbs.
But a long-time educator and now Democratic State Rep. Jody Dickinson said she opposes the bill.
"You (Teachers) have a lot of requirements coming at you and it seems like each year there's a little bit more," said Rep. Dickinson.
Rep. Dickinson said when kids are required to be silent for any length of time there lies the possibility of disciplinary problems.
"I wrestled with that too, but I decided that one minute would probably help the teacher with the day," said Rep. Hobbs.
Hobbs said the moment of silence would be time for students to "reflect, pray or engage in another ... activity."
"You can use it to do really whatever you want as long as you're not making noises, I guess, that's what it sounds like," said Henry Rodgers.