Bill passes in legislative session for daily Pledge of Allegiance in Public Schools

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Pending a signature from the Governor the Pledge of Allegiance will now be recited daily in all Utah public schools following the passage of an amendment to a bill that passed in the Utah legislative session.

Once only required in elementary schools, SB 223 introduces the Pledge of Allegiance in secondary schools, middle and high schools, with an extra kick: it is to be led by a student in each classroom.

The recently passed amendment to the bill changes the wording of the bill that already required elementary schools to recite the pledge.

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“The pledge of allegiance to the flag shall be recited once at the beginning of each day in each public school classroom in the state,” the bill reads, “led by a student in the classroom, as assigned by the classroom teacher on a rotating basis.”

The bill also includes how a student can be excused from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

“A student shall be excused from reciting the pledge upon written request from the student’s parent or legal guardian,” the bill reads.

[pullquote]”The pledge of allegiance to the flag shall be recited once at the beginning of each day in each public school classroom in the state,”[/pullquote]

Bill sponsor Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-Salt Lake, said visiting schools over the past several months and not seeing the pledge being recited inspired him to sponsor the bill.

“I have made it a priority to visit multiple schools,” Osmond said, “and I observed the complete lack of doing the pledge.”

Osmond said the changes in the bill are to help students remember those who have given their lives for this country by having the pledge recited by students.

“The bill calls for the students to give the pledge each morning in elementary, middle, high and charter schools,” Osmond said. “The bill also requires that the pledge be said in the classroom rather than over the intercom.”

Rhonda Bromley, public relations administrator for Alpine School District said it will only be a minor adjustment for Alpine schools.

“It is happening at least weekly in all Alpine School District secondary schools,” Bromley said. “For some it is part of the Monday morning announcements.”

Bromley said while it will be a change for the schools to start reciting it daily in the classroom, the bill won’t cause any problems.

“That is something we can support,” she said.

Provo School District currently has a similar policy requiring the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in secondary schools once a week.

Laken Cannon, public relations for Provo School District, said the district will adjust accordingly.

“Provo school district asks that elementary school students recite it every morning, and secondary school students recite it once a week,” Cannon said. “With this, secondary school students will have to recite it each morning in the classroom.”