All public school students would be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every school day under a bill that is now headed to the governor’s desk.
Under current law, the pledge is only required daily in elementary schools. Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden, said the pledge should be recited in all classrooms every day "so we understand we are receiving the blessings of those who went before."
The bill states that participation is voluntary, although a student would need a note from a parent to be excused, as is the case in current law.
SB223 passed the House 48-25 and goes to the governor for action.
Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, said he takes the pledge seriously, but the issue of when it is recited should be decided by local schools.
And Rep. Jim Bird, R-West Jordan, predicted the state will be sued over the requirement, but the Legislature has not provided funding for the litigation.
But Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, said that, as a former Marine, he believes students need to be taught to respect the flag.
"People are actually being taught to be ashamed of being an American. People should be proud to be an American," he said. "I’ve had friends who have lost their lives defending this great nation, defending this flag."
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