Newly Introduced Bill Would Penalize Schools That Don't Allow Time for The Pledge of Allegiance

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School districts in the state of Arizona are required by law to display the United States Constitution and flag inside of every classroom and to set aside time every day for students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, although participation is not required.

However, some state legislators want to up the ante on the requirements, putting forward a bill that would actually fine schools for not displaying the flag and constitution or for not allowing time for the Pledge of Allegiance, with amounts up to $1,000 for those that do not adhere.

Arizona State Senate Bill 1111, introduced by Republican and former Air Force officer Wendy Rogers, "Imposes a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation on a school district or charter school that violates the requirements to display the U.S. flag, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and set aside time for the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence," according to the text of the legislation.

The requirement is only applicable to public schools, as private schools, parochial schools, and home schools are exempt.

The bill passed through the Arizona Senate Education Committee along party lines. Democrat Catherine Miranda, who voted against the bill, stated the following on the bill.

“I believe that there’s limited issues," she said. "I don’t even think they exist to tell you the truth, but if anything, it's a limited issue that can easily be remedied.”

The possibility of imposing fines also comes as lawmakers have yet to raise the school spending limit in the state, posing the possibility of further issues if a school was fined and unable to spend the money to address the fine, or would be forced to draw funds from other areas.

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Tucson, AZ

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