For many years now, lawmakers, activists, and liberals and conservatives alike have been battling the issue of whether or not they should be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each school day. Most people are in agreement that a child should have the ability to refrain from saying the pledge if they deem it best for the individual’s circumstances, there are other people who believe differently. They feel that the government should exert their power to make children recite our Pledge of Allegiance, and that this should be a requirement throughout all of the states within America.
Republican Representative John Fillmore represents Apache Junction, and he also believes that all children should be required by law to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, simply as a means for them to pledge their loyalty to the United States.
Fillmore recently introduced legislation that would require all schoolchildren to stand up, placing their hands over their heart, and recite those words that most Americans have memorized:
“I pledge allegiance to the flag, and for the republic, for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Of course, Fillmore might mean well, but he’s opening up a bit of a can of worms. What about the issue regarding the Second Amendment? Well, Representative Fillmore included a designation where certain children would be tax exempt from citing the pledge if they had their parents step in and handle it for them. However, he is adamant in his belief that the pledge is a time where one should “quietly reflect and engage in their moral reasoning.” Simply put, Fillmore believes that this legislation is necessary because it will improve the character of American children and especially help those going to schools in Arizona. He believes this will keep the schools in his state safe.
Indeed, a majority of the schools within this country already designate time for reciting the pledge at the beginning of the school day. However, this is never something that has been a mandatory requirement at any time in our country, simply because we all have first amendment rights. Thus, it definitely goes without saying that Fillmore’s proposal has drawn a lot of criticism, with some even comparing his mandatory pledge of allegiance law to something that would come out of an authoritarian regime such as Iran or North Korea.
“Yes, let’s be FORCED to say the Pledge of Allegiance so that we teach the kids about freedom,” one commenter wrote sarcastically.
“You shouldn’t be forcing someone to do it,” another person commented.
There is no question that Doug Ducey worked hard to push the bill through, and it even prompted Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to speak about it. He said that he thought that it was already required for students to do it and he also thinks that it is a good idea for students to do it.
“I’m a Pledge of Allegiance fan,” the governor said to reporters. “I would do it because I would want all of our kids, especially the kids in grade school, to begin each day with the pledge.”
For his part, Fillmore wants to see the pledge being introduced to children as early as kindergarten.
The bill reads, “FOR KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS AND GRADES ONE THROUGH TWELVE, set aside a specific time each day for those students who wish PUPILS to recite the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag. PUPILS SHALL RECITE THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE UNITED STATES FLAG DURING THIS TIME. AT THE REQUEST OF A PARENT, THE PARENT’S PUPIL SHALL BE EXCUSED FROM THE REQUIREMENT OF THIS PARAGRAPH.”
The bill also adds, “FOR KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS AND GRADES ONE THROUGH TWELVE, SET ASIDE A SPECIFIC TIME EACH DAY FOR PUPILS TO ENGAGE IN QUIET REFLECTION AND MORAL REASONING FOR AT LEAST ONE MINUTE. PUPILS SHALL ENGAGE IN QUIET REFLECTION AND MORAL REASONING DURING THIS TIME. AT THE REQUEST OF A PARENT, THE PARENT’S PUPIL SHALL BE EXCUSED FROM THE REQUIREMENT OF THIS PARAGRAPH.”
Do you think that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance should be required, or do you think that is going a bit too far? Comments are appreciated!