Friday, February 6, 2009

Breaking the Silence

Illinois's Moment of Silence Law was struck down last week. The law mandated Illinois public schools to require a moment of silence from their students.

If you've ever actually taken a moment of silence with other people, you know how creepy one can be. Naturally no one wants a moment of silence -- and certainly not on a daily basis. Not the students. Not the teachers. Not the administrators. The only people who want a moment of silence seem to be our grandstanding Springfield legislators -- perhaps to score some easy points with their religious-values constituents.

So it should be little surprise that when professional athiest and perennial Green Party candidate Rob Sherman complained that the law is unconstitutional, a federal judge agreed.

But the judge ruled on a technicality, suggesting the law can be rewritten. Now the LakeCountyEye has nothing but admiration for its grandstanding Springfield legislators -- and knows, given the opportunity, they will always jump at a chance to rewrite a bill, no matter how poorly conceived it may be.

So some free advice: when you resubmit your Moment of Silence Bill, why not make it a Moment of Noise Law instead? Instead of requiring our kids endure a minute of awkward silence, why not require them to whoop it up and holler for that minute instead? This will surely release a lot of pent-up energy that would otherwise have been directed toward some illicit pursuit or other. And Rob Sherman will never be able to argue with a straight face that a Moment of Noise Law is a thinly disguised trojan horse to get prayer back in the public schools.

At least give it a moment of thought, grandstanding Springfield legislators. It's a win-win for everyone.


Nicki said...

The Moment of Silence law was absurd. It was ill-conceived and poorly written, and it gave school districts no guidance as to how to implement it. It was simply legislative meddling. Of course, the legislators had little else to do in the last session, as the governor and the leadership in the House and the Senate wouldn't let the rank and file legislators participate in their games.

Anonymous said...

For once, I agree with Mr. Sherman. The State has more important things to do and schools have so little time to educate anyhow that the law was vague and unnecessary. How much of our tax dollars were used to reach the court-based outcome?

We can all thank Ms. Lightfoot in Springfield for this law.