Lawmaker seeks passage of bill allowing Congressional prayers to be read in schools

RepresentativeSteve Hurst, Alabama's 35th District, is seeking to let publicschool teachers begin each day by reading opening prayers that were given inCongress.

The billwould set aside 15 minutes at the start of each school day to study theprocedures of Congress, and give a verbatim reading of a congressional openingprayer.

Rep. Hurstsays teachers could choose a prayer that related to the day's lesson. He saysteachers might choose a prayer that was said on a particular day in history.

The HouseEducation Policy held a public hearing Wednesday on the legislation.

Opponentssay the proposal is unconstitutional.

SusanWatson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama,says the proposal is teacher-led prayer being dressed up as a civics lesson.