No More Illinois “Moments”

Federal judge overrules law requiring students' moment of silence

It was controversial from the start, but now a federal judge has overturned an Illinois law requiring students observe a moment of silence in class at the start of each day.

The law, which stated that the time should be used as "an opportunity for silent prayer or reflection on the anticipated activities" -- was challenged by a student at Buffalo Grove High School, Dawn Sherman, and her atheist activist father, Rob Sherman, The Chicago Tribune reported.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman put a ban on the practice in place in May after the Shermans' legal challenge, but his ruling on Wednesday, which stated that the the law amounted to an unconstitutional endorsement of religion aimed at introducing prayer in public schools, makes his initial ruling permanent.

Schools struggled with the law as districts were left to interpret how long a moment was and when to pause during a morning routine of announcements and the Pledge of Allegiance.

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