Legislators Have More Education Proposals: Make the Pledge of Allegiance a Requirement
Maybe there's something to be said about the posts on this blog today -- legislators hoping to make high school students take a loyalty oath to graduation, Arizona leading the nation in high school dropouts, and now, an effort to make reciting the Pledge of Allegiance a "requirement."
Under current Arizona law, there must be time set aside every day for public school students from elementary school to high school to pledge their allegiance to the flag of the United States of America -- "for those students who wish."
The proposal from Republican state Representatives Steve Smith and T.J. Shope includes deleting that "those students who wish" part.
House Bill 2284, although advertised as a "requirement," does come with a way for students to opt out.
"For grades one through twelve, set aside a specific time each day for pupils to recite the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag," the proposed text says. "At the request of a parent, a pupil shall be excused from the requirement of this paragraph."
There's no punishment outlined for students who choose not to recite the pledge without permission from their parents.
Believe it or not, Smith and Shope are among the five Republican representatives who are sponsoring the bill that would prevent high school students in Arizona from graduating from high school unless they take an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution.
We've e-mailed these two legislators to see if we can get an explanation on the pledge bill, so we'll provide the update if we hear back.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.