On April 24, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed Bill 202, which will create "Tennessee’s Weekend of Prayer Over Students."
The law says, "Tennesseans are encouraged to pray for protection, guidance and peace, and for opportunities and blessings on the students of Tennessee" on the first weekend in August, noted WCYB.
Two state Republicans wrote the law with help from First Priority Blue Ridge, an organization that claims its mission is, "uniting the local body of Christ with a plan of action to influence the school with the gospel," reported Johnson City Press.
One of the bill's sponsors, Republican state Sen. Rusty Crowe, said in a press release:
"Many students face extreme challenges in school today both academically and due to peer pressure or low self-esteem. This legislation sets a weekend which will serve as a reminder that we need to pray for our students and also give thanks for them and the school personnel who will guide them over the academic year."
Haley Wherry, executive director at First Priority, added: "Just be praying for them and that God would give them a place of learning, the school would be a place of safety, and that they would grow into mature young men and women that contribute to our community and our country."
Althouth the bill's wording isn't specific to Christianity, not all religions have been welcomed in Tennessee. In March, state lawmakers targeted what it believes are "no-go zones" that are often associated with Muslim populations.
Republican state Rep. Susan Lynn and state Sen. Bill Ketron of Tennessee introduced a bill that would ban "contiguous geographical area(s) consisting of public space or privately owned public space where community organizing efforts systematically intimidate or exclude the general public or public workers from entering or being present within the area," reported The Huffington Post.