Arizona GOP Bill: Mandatory Pledge For All Students

The Arizona Daily Star reports:

The vice chairman of the House Education Committee wants schools to teach students less about dating abuse — but tighten up laws that require them to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Rep. John Fillmore, R-Apache Junction, is proposing to repeal a state law that now allows — but does not require — schools to provide “age-appropriate” instruction into dating abuse, with HB 2005 replacing it with an outright ban.

Under current law, school districts must set aside a specific time each day for “students who wish” to recite the pledge. Fillmore’s HB 2107 removes that language, saying pupils “shall recite the Pledge of Allegiance” during this time. The only way out is for a parent to make a request to excuse his or her child. “Patriotism is a good thing in America,” he said. “The love of our country and our free enterprise system I think is something the kids should understand and respect.”

From the text of the pledge bill:

FOR KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS AND GRADES ONE THROUGH TWELVE, SET ASIDE A SPECIFIC TIME EACH DAY FOR 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.

FOR KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS AND GRADES ONE THROUGH TWELVE, SET ASIDE A SPECIFIC TIME EACH DAY FOR PUPILS TO ENGAGE IN QUIET REFLECTION 28 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 30 PARENT, THE PARENT’S PUPIL SHALL BE EXCUSED FROM THE REQUIREMENT OF THIS PARAGRAPH.