ND House passes bill to allow voluntary student prayer in schools

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) North Dakota lawmakers voted Thursday night to allow voluntary student prayer in schools.

The law allows for student-initiated prayer before, during and after school to the same extent secular free speech is allowed in school.

One of the reasons the bill was brought up was because of private schools not being able to pray during athletic competitions at neutral facilities rented by the state.

The bill didn't go as far as some lawmakers had hoped, but they stressed this is time of session to take what you can get.

“I hope we will approve the conference committee report and pass this bill because i think it still makes our North Dakota law better than it currently is and this is the time of session for maybe taking a half a loaf, compromising when we need to and moving forward with good public policy,” said Rep. Kim Koppelman, R-West Fargo

The bill passed the House 89 to 3 and now heads to the Senate.