RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A bill before Virginia's General Assembly this year would mandate that every public school classroom hold a moment of silence each day.
The measure, introduced by state Sen. Warren E. Barry, would require ''a period of silent meditation, prayer or reflection, not to exceed one minute.''
Teachers would not direct students during the minute except to make sure they are seated and quiet.
''I'm not real religious, but when we took God out of the schools, we saw moral decay and an increase in school violence,'' Barry said, adding that last year's school shootings in Littleton, Colo., figured into his move.
''The idea is not so much whether they pray or not,'' he said. ''It's to give them time to think and realize they have to be accountable for their actions.''
State law now makes a moment of silence optional in public schools.
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