2010 Tennessee Code
Title 49 - Education
Chapter 6 - Elementary and Secondary Education
Part 10 - Curriculum Generally
49-6-1004 - Period of silence or prayer.
49-6-1004. Period of silence or prayer.
(a) In order for all students and teachers to prepare themselves for the activities of the day, a period of silence of approximately one (1) minute in duration shall be maintained in each grade in public schools at the beginning of each school day. At the opening of the first class each day, it is the responsibility of each teacher in charge of each class to call the students to order and announce that a moment of silence is to be observed. The teacher shall not indicate or suggest to the students any action to be taken by them during this time, but shall maintain silence for the full time. At the end of this time, the teacher shall indicate resumption of the class in an appropriate fashion, and may at that time make school announcements or conduct any other class business before commencing instruction.
(b) It is lawful for any teacher in any of the schools of the state that are supported, in whole or in part, by the public funds of the state, to permit the voluntary participation by students or others in prayer. Nothing contained in this section shall authorize any teacher or other school authority to prescribe the form or content of any prayer.
(c) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b), nonsectarian and nonproselytizing voluntary benedictions, invocations or prayers that are initiated and given by a student volunteer or student volunteers may be permitted on public school property during school-related noncompulsory student assemblies, school-related student sporting events and school-related commencement ceremonies. Such permission shall not be construed to indicate any support, approval or sanction by the state or any governmental personnel or official of the contents of the benedictions, invocations or prayers or to be the promotion or establishment of any religion, religious belief or sect.
[Acts 1968, ch. 492, § 1; 1976, ch. 463, § 1; 1982, ch. 899, § 1; 1983, ch. 18, § 1; T.C.A., §§ 49-1922, 49-1923; Acts 1993, ch. 534, § 1.]
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