Arizona Republican Proposes Bill Requiring Students to Recite Pledge of Allegiance

WARMINSTER, PA - MARCH 24: Fourth graders at Longstreth Elementary School pledge allegiance to the flag March 24, 2004 in Warminster, Pennsylvania. An atheist parent, Michael Newdow, of Sacramento, California is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court today to defend his position that the "Under God" in the …
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Arizona students may soon be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily at school it was reported Thursday, as detailed in a bill proposed November 19 by state Rep. John Fillmore (R-AZ).

The recitation of the pledge would be mandatory unless a parent asks that their child be exempt from the practice, WSBTV reported Thursday.

House Bill 2017 read:

For Kindergarten Programs and grades one through twelve, set aside a specific time each day for pupils to recite the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag. Pupils shall recite the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag during this time. At the request of a parent, the paren’ts pupil shall be excused from the requirement of this paragraph.

For kindergarten programs and grades one through twelve, set aside a specific time each day for pupils to engage in quiet reflection and moral reasoning for at least one minute. Pupils shall engage in quiet reflection and moral reasoning during this time. At the request of a parent, the parent’s pupil shall be excused from from the requirement of this paragraph.

The bill also requires schools to acquire American-made flags to be displayed in every classroom and elsewhere on the campuses.

The document continued:

For grades seven through twelve, acquire a legible copy of the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights that is  manufactured in the United States. For grades seven through twelve, place a legible copy of the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights adjacent to each classroom flag.

However, in 1943 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “schools could not force students to salute the flag or say the pledge. But courts in recent years have disagreed on whether requiring written exemptions from parents amounts to forcing students to participate,” according to azcentral.com.

Fillmore, who is an entrepreneur from Apache Junction, was a board member of the Copper Basin Chamber of Commerce and has sponsored or co-sponsored several bills concerning education.

“We must cut the size of our government. We need to strengthen our educational opportunities and empower the teachers to regain control of their classroom,” the republican’s website stated.

Tuesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said he thinks reciting the pledge each day in school is a great idea, but refused to offer a personal opinion on the bill itself.

“This is America. That’s why I’m not commenting on the bill,” he said. “I’m commenting on the idea of saying the pledge, which is a good idea every day.”

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