Missouri’s legislature passed a law that requires Missouri schools that are partly or wholly funded by public money to recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” daily, whereas before it was only required to be recited once a week. ECHO believes there are more effective uses of time.
It takes roughly 20 seconds to introduce and recite the Pledge over the announcements each day. Assuming there will be about 180 days of school this year, students and staff will spend 60 minutes of that school year reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance.” That is an entire class period, an entire day of learning lost to reciting Pledge from second and third hour.
Representative Shane Roden who sponsored the bill said in a House Committee hearing, “…The meaning of the Pledge has a very sentimental value for some of our veterans and others who have made sacrifices for this country.”
Betty Roberts, teacher, has similar views on the bill as Roden.
Roberts said, “There is not enough patriotism in this country… youth are not always aware of the sacrifices men and women make for us to have that privilege.”
Roberts said the new bill is beneficial to students because it is teaching youth to respect an emblem of freedom for our country.
Contrary to Robert’s belief, Nicholas Kirschman, social studies teacher, said the new bill violates student’s First Amendment rights. Although students cannot be forced to recite the “Pledge of Allegiance,” Kirschman said some teachers force students to stand.
Students are protected by the First Amendment and cannot be required to participate in the reciting of the Pledge. Kirschman believes in an instance when a student is forced to do so, a lawyer should get involved.
“It is just as much an act of patriotism to not recite the Pledge as it is to say it,” Kirschman said.
Senior Lebari Kanee said he prefers the way it used to be when it was required only to recite the Pledge once a week. Kanee said the new laws seems excessive and unnecessary.
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