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Councilman Proposes A ‘Moment Of Silence’ In New York City Schools

Lawmaker Lewis Fidler Thinks It's A Great Idea, But Not Everyone Agrees
A New York City councilman has proposed making a moment of silence mandatory in city schools. (Photo: CBS 2)

A New York City councilman has proposed making a moment of silence mandatory in city schools. (Photo: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A controversial plan for the morning routine could soon face New York City schools.

It’s not clear whether it would come before or after the Pledge of Allegiance, but if Brooklyn City Councilman Lew Fidler has his way city students would start their day with a moment of silence.

For perhaps as much as 60 seconds, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.

“I know as a human being it’s helpful to me. Sometimes when I’m driving in to work to think about what I need to do today, what should I accomplish today, what’s important today,” Fidler said.

Fidler said it could be prayer, mediation or “perhaps even to calm down a little bit and get ready for the day.”

He freely admitted that due to mayoral control of the schools the council can’t order the Department of Education to enact a moment of silence, but he’s hoping the pressure from a proposed resolution will force the Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott’s hand.

“Hopefully, if it passes the council and it passes unanimously, or close to unanimously, the Department of Education will understand that there is a school of thought out there that believes that this should be policy,” Fidler said.

The proposal is sure generating a lot of buzz among parents.

“I think it’s a good idea. They can kind of think about whatever they want. We live in a crazy, fast-paced city, so a moment of silence, I think it is a good idea. I’d like to have one,” said Christi Wood of TriBeCa.

“I think you are going to have a lot of people who are not going to want it to happen. People are very picky. I don’t even think my kids do the Pledge of Allegiance at school in the morning. People are very sensitive about that kind of thing,” added Lauren Steinberg of TriBeCa.

“I don’t see anything wrong with it. Why not take in a moment?” resident Maria Rowbotham added.

“I disagree with it. I just think that if they need to have a moment of silence [do it] at their own time. How many hours in a school day? They have 12 other hours to do it on their own private time,” Julie Antoinette said.

“Yeah, with kids it can’t be a bad idea,” Camila Ha added.

There are some who think a moment of silence is acceptable, as long as they can have a few hours of silence, at home.

And speaking of silence, a Department of Education spokesman would say only, “We don’t comment on resolutions.”

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …