Prayer in school
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Prayer in school

Date: March 3, 2009
By: Christine Slusser
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SJR 12

Intro: People have the right to pray in school says a Senator who proposed an amendment to Missouri's Constitution.

Christine Slusser has more from the State Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

There is still no vote in the Senate on an amendment to Missouri's Constitution which would clarify people's right to pray in school.

A witness at the hearing with Missouri's Baptist Convention, Kerry Messer, says this resolution would let teachers know that students have the right to pray or write about their God.

Actuality:  MESSERK2.WAV
Run Time: 00:11
Description: "Their school work in a classroom assignment which was a free-writing assignment was rejected and given an "F" grade because the subject matter had to do with religious expression."


Messer says he went to a convention with 200-plus people and no one could say if it was legal to pray before dinner.

From the state Capitol, I'm Christine Slusser.


Intro: An amendment to Missouri's constitution to acknowledge people's right to pray in schools and other government-owned properties was heard by Senate members.

Christine Slusser has more from the State Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

Lowry City Republican, Senator Delbert Scott says people are legally allowed to pray in school and his resolution to Missouri's Constitution clears up the confusion.

Former Republican State Representative Joe Ortwerth agrees with the Senator's amendment and says people don't understand their rights to pray in public.

Actuality:  ORTWERTH.WAV
Run Time: 00:13
Description: "Senator Scott has a Bible study each week in his office and I'm grateful that he does and there are those who would argue that he can't do that, that that's not permissible on public property despite the fact that our freedom of association allows us to do so."

The Senate has not voted on the amendment to the state's constitution.

From Jefferson City, I'm Christine Slusser.


Intro: A resolution which one Senator says would clear up confusion on whether or not a person has the right to pray in schools heard by members of Missouri's Senate.

Christine Slusser has more from the State Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

A Missouri Senator wants to add an amendment to the state's constitution which would "clear up the haze" about praying in school and other government property.

Lowry City Republican, Senator Delbert Scott says many things have left people confused about their rights.

Actuality:  SCOTT.WAV
Run Time: 00:13
Description: "We have had across the last twenty or thirty years a lot of lawsuits, lots of discussion in the press of what can be done or what can't be done and its come to a time when a lot of folks don't know what their religious freedoms are."


Another witness says he went to a convention with over 200 people and no one could say if they were legally allowed to pray before the meal.

The Missouri Senate has yet to vote on this resolution.

From Jefferson City, I'm Christine Slusser.