OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill requiring public school students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives by a vote of 93-1 on Monday.
House Bill 2277 by state Rep. Terry O’Donnell would require students in all public schools to recite the pledge to the flag of the United States of America once every school day rather than once a week as now required by law. The state statute, in accordance with federal law, authorizes an exemption for students “who do not wish to participate” in the pledge.
“When I was in school, patriotism and the meaning of the Pledge were taught in class,” said O’Donnell, R-Catoosa. “By reciting the Pledge daily, school children are reminded of the loyalty, dedication and courage that has made and kept America the greatest country in the history of mankind.”
“With all of the inflated political rhetoric, demonstrations and protests going on around the country, our school children need to understand that the current turmoil is not normal in America. The Pledge of Allegiance symbolizes the unity and shared values of all Americans which we can never allow school children to forget.”
State law also requires history and etiquette relating to the United States flag be taught in one or more grades in every school district in Oklahoma.
Members of the House Common Education Committee earlier unanimously approved the bill. The measure now moves to the state Senate for approval.