New policy to teach the kids they’re being coerced to say the pledge!
School proposes the recital of the pledge should come with a history lesson about how people have been coerced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance throughout our nation’s history.
North Carolina state law requires schools to schedule a time each day for students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, although students can’t be compelled to participate. But a newly proposed school board policy at Wake County school has decided that the district’s citizenship curriculum “may encourage teachers to use the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance as an opportunity to teach students about the history concerning coercion and the importance of the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights.”
A school board committee recommended Tuesday sending the policy to the full board for approval. After the meeting, board members and school administrators said they were simply including language suggested by the N.C. School Boards Association.
“It’s not a Wake County school board policy or story,” said school board member Jim Martin, chairman of the policy committee. “You’ve got to dig into the School Boards Association.”
News and Observer reports that some North Carolina school districts have adopted identical wording in their citizenship policies, while others stop short of explicitly mentioning coercion in relation to the pledge as a teaching issue.
“Wake County’s citizenship curriculum offers an opportunity to underline for students the history of free speech in our country,” Christopher Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina, said in a written statement. “The curriculum is a great chance to reiterate the protections afforded us by the First Amendment, including those against the government compelling individuals to engage in speech.”
But Terry Stoops, director of education research studies for the John Locke Foundation, a conservative Raleigh think tank, said Wake was bringing unnecessary controversy to the issue.
“Most families would not want to use the pledge in that way,” Stoops said in an interview Tuesday. “There are plenty of other ways to talk about coercion and the role of the First Amendment that don’t involve something as personal as the pledge.”
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