Let’s take this for what it is: Perry’s doubling down because he knows his Prez campaign is kaput and he wants to make sure he’s still in the good graces of his core base back home.
But even within that context, this is ridiculous. Children can pray in school whenever they want, as long as they are not disruptive. If Perry thinks that kids can’t pray, I suggest he lead a campaign of civil disobedience, getting kids to pray in their public schools. The public would become quickly sympathetic to his point of view thanks to the resulting riots, police beatings and pepper-spraying of praying students, pictures on the front page of the newspapers…
Oh wait, that wouldn’t happen. BECAUSE KIDS CAN PRAY IN SCHOOL, and they already do, presumably before and during tests. What Perry seems to be frothing about is Supreme Court cases like Engel v. Vitale (1962), in which it was deemed unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and require its recitation in public schools. And many, many other cases in which it has been found unconstitutional for public officials to force prayer on students, regardless of whether they are religious or not.
Do you see the difference between the two? Because Perry apparently can’t.
You can’t force people to pray in school. State officials can’t force your kids to pray in specific ways, to specific god(s), and saying specific words at state-required times. And you also cannot prevent kids from praying, as long as they’re not disruptive. That’s the situation we find ourselves in today, and Rick Perry finds it unacceptable. But other than frothing evangelicals that seem bent on forcing their religious beliefs on everyone else in the country, almost everyone else seems to be fine with it… unless they are presented with lies like “it’s illegal for children to pray in school, therefore we need a constitutional amendment to let them.”