PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A City Councilwoman is calling on her colleagues to hold a hearing on prayer in the Philadelphia School District.

While U.S. Supreme Court decisions prevent teachers and other public school officials from leading classes in prayer, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell wants Council’s Committee on Education to hold a hearing on the issue.

“Our understanding is that if youth say they want the opportunity for their expression of religion in their own way, that it’ll be alright.”

Blackwell believes students should be free to pray alone or in groups, as long as the activity is not disruptive and does not infringe on the rights of others. She says prayer can promote more virtuous living, and may have a positive impact on student behavior in schools.

“To give society the ability to feel we’re trying to do the right thing.”

Blackwell says schools should respect the right of students to engage in religious activity and discussion.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio

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