Politics

One Parent's Complaint Changes Entire School District's Pledge Of Allegiance Policy

| by Nik Bonopartis
San Francisco school children recite the Pledge of Allegiance in 1942San Francisco school children recite the Pledge of Allegiance in 1942

After one parent and a student complained, faculty at a Florida school were reportedly forced put up signs in classrooms informing kids that they have the right to opt out of the Pledge of Allegiance. Now the superintendent of that school district says he's frustrated and fed up.

The Santa Rosa County School District has more than 26,000 students enrolled in 32 elementary, middle and high schools according to district data, and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance each day was district policy. But after one parent and one student complained earlier this year, the district had to make exceptions under state law.

The parent and student also pointed out that under state statute, the school district must inform students that they have the right to remain seated and abstain from the pledge, Florida's ABC3 reported.

"Students are invited to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance to the flag of our country, but they are not required to do so," the signs read.

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"They didn't want to stand for the pledge, so our responsibility is according to the law, publish that in a conspicuous place," Santa Rosa Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick told the TV station on Oct. 27.

"I was raised to honor this country and respect it," Wyrosdick added of the Pledge of Allegiance. "Standing for the pledge is not only a requirement it's a privilege that we stand and pledge allegiance to the United States of America. That's my personal belief and my moral belief."

The opt-out and signs didn't sit well with other parents.

"It kind of makes me sad it's come to this," Kelly Williams, a mother of three children in the district, told the TV station.

"My 8-year-old daughter can recite it from memory," Williams added. "I did it my whole life. I don't see anything wrong with it at all."

When other parents complained about the signs, Wyrosdick said he made it clear he wasn't happy with the change.

"I loathe having to tell a student they don't have to stand for the pledge," he said. "I feel like it's a responsibility that we should hold fast. The issue is not Santa Rosa County schools it's the law."

Sources: ABC 3 WEAR TV, Extra Credit, Santa Rosa County School District

Photo Credit: Department of the Interior/Wikimedia Commons, Kim Hill/Flickr