Pledge of Allegiance Now Required in Schools

Liberty students share their opinion on the new law put in place that requires the pledge of allegiance to be administered everyday.

The+American+flag+displayed+in+the+Liberty+journalism+room+%28H042%29

Chloe Oppelt

The American flag displayed in the Liberty journalism room (H042)

In February 2021, Iowa lawmakers passed a bill that required schools to administer the Pledge of Allegiance and present the American flag daily. The bill passed by a 91-3 vote and went to the Iowa Senate for final approval. Although schools would be required to state the pledge, students would not be required to recite or stand for the pledge. Private schools could opt out of this law if it were to conflict with their religious beliefs but that is the only exception. The ICCSD was not part of this exception. Back in February when the law was first passed, ICCSD board President Shawn Eyestone wrote an email to The Daily Iowan that stated: ¨At best, the bill is over legislating something that didn’t require attention.¨

When classes resumed for the new school year, this bill was put in action and the pledge is now administered daily over the announcements. Liberty senior Jody Lamp shared her thoughts on this new school requirement. 

House file 415

¨I don’t mind it simply because they are not forcing students to say it. I think it’s good that it’s a choice because not everyone feels a strong connection to this country,¨said Lamp.

Lamp also shared what she thinks some advantages and disadvantages of this law are.

¨I think the advantages are honoring those who’ve died for our country and it’s a way for those people to be remembered daily. I think the disadvantages are that not everyone at Liberty is from this country. There [are] a lot of students from different places and not everyone has a [strong] sense of pride in America because a lot of people identify more with the country they were born in or where their family are from rather than the US,¨ she stated.

Dylan Wilson, junior, also shared what he thinks about this law.

“I think it’s kind of pointless at this time because we haven’t done it since elementary school and now they’re making elementary kids [recite] it after they’ve never done it before and they’re not really teaching the background behind it so kids can form their own opinions about it. I think some advantages could be giving a chance to younger kids to learn the background and the history of why we recite it. Some disadvantages would be the opposite to that, like some people don’t really understand the background behind it and just think it’s just standing up for thirty seconds a day rather than understanding the meaning of it,” said Wilson.

Jocelyn Klein, sophomore, has a unique perspective on this new legislation.

“I don’t think it should be required because I understand why people don’t want to stand for it. I understand why they play it [over the announcements] for the people who do want to participate, but I don’t think people should reprimand others for sitting down during it. I do think it’s good that they announce it everyday because last year we didn’t do anything related to the pledge at all.”

I understand why they play it [over the announcements] for the people who do want to participate, but I don’t think people should reprimand others for sitting down during it.”

— Jocelyn Klein

Klein also shared a past experience involving the pledge and a religious aspect.

 “I think some disadvantages would be people being reprimanded for not standing. For example, my friend is part of the Jehovah’s Witness religion and when we were in middle school, they tried to make her stand up but it was against her religion and from that experience I hope that no one feels like they have to stand if they don’t want to,” she explained.

Although students have mixed opinions about this topic, this law is now in action and happening in all public schools around Iowa. There has not been any new developments to this bill since February but some wonder if this law will stay in place over time or if it will be repealed.