rick_scott_12.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ A bill that allows school boards to permit student-initiated prayer and other “inspirational messages'' at public school assemblies has been signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.

Although the bill (SB 98) refers only to inspirational messages and does not use the word “prayer'' in the text, opponents argued term inspirational message is simply a euphemism for prayer, and supporters acknowledge that such messages could include prayer.

The bill passed both chambers of the Florida Legislature largely along party lines with Republicans favoring it and most of the opposition from Democrats, although Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, sponsored the Senate version.

The bill Scott signed Friday does not require school boards adopt inspiration message policies, but students would have discretion over the content of their messages if permitted by the board.