Bill would create “Day of Prayer” for Kentucky students

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Prayer, Religion

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – An annual day of prayer for Kentucky’s students would become part of state law under a bill passed Thursday in the House.

House Bill 40 sponsor Rep. Regina Huff, R-Williamsburg, said the annual prayer event has been proclaimed by Kentucky’s governor the past two years. HB 40 would designate the last Wednesday of September each year as “A Day of Prayer for Kentucky’s Students” by law, and require the governor to issue an annual proclamation for the event.

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Huff said that HB 40 is respectful of all faiths by asking that Kentuckians spend the day praying, meditating or reflecting “in accordance with their own faith and consciences.” Students would be allowed to participate in the event at school before the start of the instructional day.

“Their event at school will be student-initiated and conducted, and always before the start of the school day,” Huff said.

The Kentucky event would be part of a global prayer initiative that Huff said would be held the same day.

The idea for HB 40 was raised by students in Huff’s district and others who she said “want to know that we are all united in this effort and that, on that particular day each year, we will be united with them.”

“Given all that our students are facing … Our students need to know that we are standing with them,” she said. “We all need to embrace this and be united in an effort of support in each individual’s manner of prayer for our schools, students and administrators.”

HB 40 passed on a vote of 83-5 and now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.