By Sarah Worthman and Jon Gargis
Students are heading back to school with many of them likely to start their school day by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance—a tradition that goes back generations.
The issue of requiring the recitation of the Pledge has surfaced nationally in recent times. Earlier this year, a state lawmaker in Arizona introduced a bill to require students to recite the pledge. Other states, including Oregon and Nebraska, have had discussions on whether or not to require the pledge to be recited in schools.
The U.S. Code spells out the text of the Pledge and its manner of delivery as:
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all," should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.
According to the Pennsylvania Code, 22 Pa. Code § 12.10:
It is the responsibility of every citizen to show proper respect for his country and its flag.
(1) Students may decline to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and may refrain from saluting the Flag on the basis of personal belief or religious convictions.
(2) Students who choose to refrain from such participation shall respect the rights and interests of classmates who do wish to participate.
Additional reporting by Nicole Foulke
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