GOP lawmaker introduces bill to make it mandatory for students to say Pledge of Allegiance in Arizona

GOP lawmaker introduces bill to make it mandatory for students to say Pledge of Allegiance in Arizona
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Arizona State Rep. John Fillmore (R) has introduced a bill that would make it mandatory for students in the state to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in schools. 

The bill would amend current state law, which requires schools in the state to set aside time for students to recite the pledge but does not mandate participation, according to The Associated Press.

Under the legislation being proposed by Fillmore, students in kindergarten programs and in first through 12th grade would be required to say the pledge in schools across the state. 

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“Pupils shall recite the pledge of allegiance to the united states flag during this time,” the bill states. It adds, however, that students can be excused from the requirement at the request of a parent.

The bill would also require Arizona school districts to set aside time in their classes each day for students to "engage in quiet reflection and moral reasoning for at least one minute."

The time is intended to be used by students to "engage in quiet reflection and moral reasoning." Students can be excused from that requirement as well with a parent’s request.

The bill applies to public school districts and charter schools in the state but includes exemptions for “private schools, parochial schools and homeschools,” it states. 

Whether students should be required to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance is a question that has been met with much debate in recent years since President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence MORE attacked former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games. 

The on-field demonstrations by Kaepernick later became a movement among other players in the NFL in an effort to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

In the following years, a number of incidents involving students who refused to stand for the pledge in school have garnered widespread attention. Last year, a Colorado teacher was accused of assaulting a student after the child refused to stand for the pledge.