(Here’s news about the stealth religious campaign for the camel’s-nose-in-the-tent strategy of getting a “moment of silence” in public schools.—Josh)
Evangelist for Silence Promotes a Quiet Gift
Debra Nussbaum Cohen
Published February 03, 2010, issue of February 12, 2010.
[E]very morning at 8:30, half an hour after rambunctious kids come bouncing into the building in their blue school uniforms, this school becomes remarkable: . . . It gets quiet. For a full minute, there is only silence.
After a teacher and a handful of students announce the moment of silence over the loudspeaker system and offer something to think about for that day - a personal goal, or how to help someone else - each and every person at P.S. 191, from the littlest 4-year-old prekindergartener to the principal, pauses for 60 seconds.
P.S. 191 has been observing this morning ritual for the past three years, ever since Avraham Frank, a Hasidic Jew heeding the last Lubavitcher Rebbe’s call for a daily moment of silence in public schools, walked in off the street and introduced the idea to the principal. So far Frank . . . has persuaded administrators at 13 public schools in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens to institute a moment of silence. His goal, he said, is to get moments of silence into schools “all over the city.”
Though school-sponsored prayer in American public schools has been prohibited since the 1962 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Engel v. Vitale, voluntary, student-initiated, private prayer is not. In response to the ban on school-sponsored prayer, there has been a nationwide push for the introduction into public schools of daily moments of silence that students can use to pray or reflect. . . .