The principal of a Delaware County, Pennsylvania, school will no longer say "God bless America" when leading the students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Peter Brigg, the principal at Sabold Elementary School in Springfield, has always recited the pledge with the students, a practice he has maintained for years.
However, at least one parent has complained to the Freedom for Religion Foundation, and the organization’s attorney reached out to the district. The group stated that the pledge recital violated the U.S. Constitution's prohibition of the government sponsoring religious messages.
After consulting with its lawyer, the district decided to put the practice to an end. The district issued a statement stating that it was not actually prohibiting the students from saying "God bless America" on their own.
The Springfield School District wrote: "To be clear, the District has not altered the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and has not prohibited students from deciding on their own, as their own form of self-expression, whether or not to state the words, 'God Bless America' (or any other appropriate form of self-expression) upon completing the Pledge of Allegiance. We understand that this is an important topic for many of our constituents; however, please understand that the district does not make the law. We follow it.”
The Freedom for Religion Foundation states: "young elementary school children don't need to be coerced into affirming God's name every morning."