North Dakota OKs bill allowing ‘student-initiated prayer’

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(AP) – North Dakota legislators have endorsed a measure that says students can’t be prohibited from participating in any “student-initiated prayer” at a public or nonpublic school.

The Senate unanimously passed the measure Friday, following House approval a day earlier.

Backers say it’s in response to a prayer not being allowed to be broadcast over the public address system at football games two years ago hosted by parochial high schools. Because they were playoff games, they were overseen by the state high school association, which didn’t allow pre-game prayers to be broadcast based on a 2000 Supreme Court decision.

The legislation doesn’t address broadcasting a prayer, and high school association spokesman Brian Bubach said he doesn’t believe the group’s stance will change.

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