Parents Can Opt-Out in New Pledge of Allegiance Law

Who doesn’t remember participating in the Pledge of Allegiance? The Pledge used to be a staple in all American schools, though a parade of legal battles and decisions over the past half-century have broken up this standard and made the ceremony much more controversial. The most recent spat over the Pledge recently occurred in the Santa Rosa school system in Florida.

The History of the Pledge

Of course, the sticking point of most debate over the Pledge of Allegiance stems from the use of the phrase “under God,” which was added in 1954 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower requested the addition. Ever since the 90s, the Pledge has been a controversial topic because of one phrase that calls into the question the separation of church and state.

The Pledge of Allegiance has a long and storied history in America, and not all of it is controversial. Click here to see a full rundown of related events from its inception to the present day!

The whole thing started over a student being late

According to Santa Rosa School Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick, it all started when a student was late for school while the Pledge of Allegiance was taking place. “The teacher then corrected that student, said the student took that correction, and began to say the Pledge of Allegiance,” he recounted. “A few days later, one of those students’ parents asked that the student not say the Pledge, and from that, began a discussion about when and how notice of not saying the Pledge to each student and the opportunity that they do not have to say the Pledge should be issued.”

So what is the policy? As the parent of the student pointed out to school officials, current Florida law states that students are not required to participate in the Pledge and that signs denoting this fact must be hung in around the school to inform students of their choice.

However, with the debate now open once again, there are people who want this law changed. Several people feel that posting the signs shows a lack of patriotism and shows a lack of respect for members of the military.

So, what is Florida to do? The current proposal is to allow parents to send in request forms for their students to abstain from the Pledge of allegiance, but with the condition that the signs can come down and a simple note in each student’s syllabus will suffice.

Hopefully, whatever new decision is made on the matter will have some lasting power!