In The School

Moment of Silence

Posted May 11th, 2012


Candy Cane Case

Croft v. Perry

Background

  • In 2006, a North Texas couple claimed that the law allowing students to observe a moment of silence at the beginning of each school day was unconstitutional. The couple sued Governor Perry on behalf of their three children who attended school in the Carrolton-Farmers Branch Independent School District. They argued that the law, which took effect in 2003, was an endorsement of prayer.
  • The law specifies that the moment of silence is a time for students to “reflect, pray, meditate, or engage in any other silent activity that is not likely to interfere with or distract another student”.

Current Status

  • Liberty Institute filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and presented oral argument alongside the Solicitor General of Texas, who was representing the Governor.
  • In March 2009, the Court of Appeals upheld the moment of silence law, rejecting the couple’s claim that the moment of silence was unconstitutional.

Impact

  • When asked about the ruling, Texas Governor Rick Perry said justice was served. “Whether schoolchildren use their morning moment of silence to pray or to prepare for a pop quiz, tolerance and personal freedom are lessons that should be taught and exercised regardless of our environment,” the governor said.

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