Illinois' "moment of silence" law may be making a comeback. Ruled unconstitutional by a District Court in 2007, the law requires schools to begin the day with time for "silent prayer or silent reflection." The specific inclusion of prayer as one of the encouraged activities, as well as the legislative history of the bill, convinced Judge Robert Gettleman the measure violates the separation of church and state.
In his weekly message, Illinois schools Superintendent Christopher Koch alerted school districts that the federal injunction that banned the moment of silence could be lifted in the next few days.
Several superintendents said they are awaiting direction from their attorneys and reviewing policies with their school boards while many others were taken aback to learn the law that has been suspended for more than two years — deemed unconstitutional and then upheld by a federal appeals court — could soon take effect once more.