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Utah Senate passes school Pledge of Allegiance bill

Published February 28, 2012 11:02 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

High school students might soon have one more item to add to their morning routines — the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed SB223, which would tweak how some schools recite the pledge. High schools and junior high students, who are now asked to say the pledge at least once a week, would be asked to do it each morning. And all schools would recite the pledge each day classroom-by-classroom with students taking turns leading it, as opposed to school-wide over a loudspeaker.

Bill sponsor Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, has said he hopes the changes would make reciting the pledge a more meaningful experience. Individual students would still be allowed to choose not to participate.

In fact, Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, added a change to the bill Tuesday that would ask schools to teach students at least once a year that saying the pledge is purely voluntary and that students who choose not to say it for religious or other reasons should still be shown respect.

"We live in a plural society, and we want to teach our children to show respect for those of differing faiths and different beliefs," Stephenson said.

The bill now goes to the House.