Legislature Tells Schools Boards No Standing Required for Pledge

Legislature Tells Schools Boards No Standing Required for Pledge

Law passed in 2016 session, School Board Disagrees

CaptureA year ago the Florida State Legislature passed a “train bill” HB 7029 by huge margins.  I was against that bill (as I remain today) for many items that were in that bill.  Tuck into HB 7029 at the last minute was language that mandated that local school boards must, “… student shall be informed by a written notice published in the student handbook or a similar publication pursuant to s. 1006.07(2) that the student has the right not to participate in reciting the pledge. Upon written request by his or her parent, the student must be excused from reciting the pledge, including standing and placing the right hand over his or her heart.” This bill was signed into law and is now Florida Statute 1003.44.

The law previously permitted students to opt out of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance but still required students to stand.  Citrus County School’s policy reflected that as well.  I shared about this new change in Florida Statute last year in two articles; https://thomastalks.org/2016/07/06/misleading-report-learn-the-real-facts/ and https://thomastalks.org/2016/03/19/floridas-bright-future-a-legislative-session-review/. Unfortunately, at the time few people seem to me upset about it then.

Today during our School Board Workshop when the policy was presented for review I spoke out again about this new Florida Statute.  The rest of the school board also spoke up and disagreed with this law.

The Board asked the School Board’s attorney, Wes Bradshaw to present alternative language which would meet Florida Statute but emphasizes that students are required to stand for the Pledge, unless requested in writing by the parent or guardian.

If you are interested in watching the video on this part of the School Board Meeting visit; https://youtu.be/BdjRztAqptg

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