Legal wrangling begins over Missouri's prayer amendment

Published: Thursday, Aug. 9 2012 5:04 p.m. MDT

• Says students need not take part in assignments or presentations that violate their religious beliefs.

That last provision has opponents saying the change gives students license to skip classes that address issues that go against their religious beliefs, or impact how topics such as the age of the earth, climate change and evolution are taught in schools.

"Providing all students a right to refrain from school assignments and presentations that violate their religious beliefs is a truly profound change in educational law," the ACLU said in a separate statement. "Providing this exemption will cause untold mischief in both public and parochial schools and will adversely affect the quality of education in Missouri."

The Hannibal Courrier-Post asked the local school superintendent what she anticipates under the new amendment, which could take effect in early September barring a court injunction.

“We will learn how to abide by the amendment,” said superintendent Jill Janes. “Once we read the law and figure out the exact wording we will abide by what it says.”

She expects no problems. “I think it goes back to common sense,” Janes said. “I think people in this community have a lot of common sense and will use that wisely."

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