NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal appeals court today upheld a Texas
law that calls for schoolchildren to have a moment of silence
during which they can pray, reflect or meditate.
A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
in New Orleans said the moment of a silence is constitutional --
affirming a district court decision favoring the rule.
David and Shannon Croft, of Carrollton, Texas, sued on behalf of
their three children over the mandatory moment of silence.
The suburban Dallas couple contended that including the word
"pray" in the law was a way for lawmakers to advance religion in
The provision took effect in September 2003.
Texas argued the moment of silence had three secular purposes:
fostering patriotism, providing time for contemplation and
protecting religious freedom.
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