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9/11/2020 Sen. Raptakis plans to reintroduce bill to institute moment of silence in RI public schools on September 11th
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) is planning to reintroduce legislation (2019-S 2378) during the upcoming General Assembly session in January to allow public schools to conduct a moment of silence for students and staff every September 11th.  Whether or not to institute a moment of silence will be left up to the local school districts if the legislation is enacted.

Senator Raptakis noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislation did not come to a vote this year.

“After the New York law was brought to my attention, I thought this policy would also be useful in Rhode Island’s classrooms.  September 11th was one of the most seminal events in our country’s history and as each anniversary of the event goes by, it’s important that we impress the significance of the attack on our students to not only memorialize all that were lost and sacrificed during the attacks, but also to help engage in conversations with students about the impact and history of that terrible day,” said Senator Raptakis.

Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) will be introducing the companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“The devastating and tragic impact of the 9/11 attacks will forever be engrained in our national hearts and minds.  While almost 20 years has passed since that awful day, I believe it is important to honor and remember the lives lost, the heroes that emerged, and the unity that our country discovered after that fateful date, especially for our students who were not yet born to witness the event,” said Representative Serpa, Chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee.

Senator Raptakis based his legislation on a bill that was signed into law by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last year.

The proposed bill would allow a brief moment of silence at the beginning of the school day on every September 11th to inspire dialogue and remembrance of the devastating attacks in 2001.  By passing the law during the next legislative session, the law would be in effect for the twentieth anniversary of the attack in 2021.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903