We’re one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all – a familiar phrase that some state legislators believe should be a required way for students to start each day.
The House Education Committee on Wednesday passed a bill to mandate Pledge of Allegiance ceremonies daily in public elementary and secondary schools. Students still could choose not to recite it.
A companion proposal, also sent to the full House, would require an American flag in each classroom.
"It's about the foundation of our country," Committee Chair Lisa Posthumus Lyons, a Republican, is quoted by Mlive Media Group as saying after this week’s vote. "It gets students thinking about the United States and what we stand for."
Democrats joined Republicans in voting 16-1 in favor of the Pledge bill and 15-2 to require flags.
Rep. Doug Geiss, D-Taylor, dissented on both votes. "I just don't know that it's a problem," he said, according to MLive. "Schools are reciting the pledge. And if you find one that’s not, take it up with the school board because it should be a board decision."
Michigan senators passed similar bills last November in a move to join 43 states requiring that pupils at least hear the Pledge each school day.
Trenton Public Schools begin each Board of Education meeting with the Pledge.
The well-known Pledge was written in 1892 by Frank Bellamy, a Baptist minister from New York. Congress added the words "under God" in 1954.
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