An attempt to reflect

New state law requires a minute of silence to be observed each morning

Principal Robert Frasca begins every morning with the pledge and a minute of silence. Frasca wants to encourage self reflection amongst students and staff.

photo by Zahra Ateeq

Principal Robert Frasca begins every morning with the pledge and a minute of silence. Frasca wants to encourage self reflection amongst students and staff.

Beginning Aug. 10, Florida statute now requires a one-minute moment of silence to be given during the morning announcements, intending to give students and staff an opportunity for self-reflection. 

Sophomore Alexandro Madruga found that most of his teachers emphasized the importance of the minute of silence.

“My teachers make sure that we are silent during that one minute,” Madruga said. “I use it as a time to destress, and even though it can be ineffective because there is no prompt of what to do during that time, it is a way for students to reflect.”

Senior Olivia Tulloch found that her teachers were mostly indifferent about the moment of silence, making it known that it’s mandatory. 

“I’ve only had one teacher that said that in a sarcastic tone of voice ‘it’s great to see the governor is working SO hard!’” Tulloch said. “Most of my classmates just sit there awkwardly because no one really knows what to do.”

Other students say that despite not actively participating at this moment, it does not negatively affect them. It was meant to be a minute for self-reflection, but most don’t seem to see many positive aspects in its implementation. Sophomores Grace Dean and Katie Pham were quick to say that this moment of silence did not have much of an effect on the student body. 

“In my old middle school in South Carolina, we also had a moment of silence so it doesn’t affect me that much,” Pham said. “It’s just there as a time to sit down.”

Students have a neutral perception of the minute, seeing it as a quiet way to start their morning. Principal Robert Frasca, who oversees the moment of silence, feels that it can be beneficial to the school. 

“I think it’s good that students have the opportunity to have a  bit of personal reflection,” Frasca said. “If they want to start their day off with some kind of reflection, some kind of prayer, some kind of meditation, that is an opportunity to do that without inserting religion into the school.”

Administration has expressed the importance of staying quiet during the moment of silence to students and staff. Although they did not implement this rule themselves, they feel that it has the potential to be beneficial to all, Frasca said.

“Hopefully the students in classes are not disrupting people’s opportunity to have that minute,” Frasca said. 

From the frenzy of what to do during this time and the factors that play into this moment, in the long run, students don’t have a say in its implementation. 

“It could have been implemented for mental health reasons and to slow down the pace of the classroom a bit,” Dean said. “I don’t hate it but I also don’t think it makes much of a difference, and when I found out there was going to be a moment of silence I rolled my eyes and continued.”

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