The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

Olathe West to Start Reciting Pledge of Allegiance Daily

Flags were placed in each classroom a week prior to the start of the statute West will be following requiring the school to recite the pledge of allegiance daily.

Starting Friday Nov. 10, Olathe schools will begin reciting the pledge of allegiance daily during A.I. in accordance with the state law requiring a program of “patriotic observation” in every school district.

In accordance with Kansas Statute 72-5308, districts in the state are required to have a “daily recitation of the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, instructions relating to flag etiquette, use and display, and provisions relating to the observance in public schools of Lincoln’s birthday, Washington’s birthday, Memorial day, and Flag day and such other legal holidays designated by law,” which was said in an email sent to teachers from Olathe National Education Association president Leigh Anne Rogers. 

Kansas has had the statue in place since 2012, however certain school districts in the area hadn’t been following it. This realization resulted in the districts starting to follow the statue as early as September of this year.

It is not required for students to participate in the pledge, given the ruling in the 1943 U.S Supreme Court Case West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, which declared that students cannot be compelled to state the pledge of allegiance. 

“Students who choose to not participate should not be punished nor forced to recite the pledge,” Rogers said. 

According to the email to ONEA members, educators are also not required to recite the pledge, and have the option to “respectfully opt out” and are encouraged to let their building principal know to “collaborate on ways to make sure the law is still followed.” “You still have to be respectful for the educational setting,” history teacher Jordan Boyd said. “But you can’t be compelled to say it, and I’ve always thought that was the American way to do it, we have freedom of speech for a reason.”

Saying the pledge in the school setting has been known to be controversial, given some of the word choice clashing with personal beliefs.

“I am still personally concerned that it’s a requirement that we say it again in a public school setting because of the line ‘under God,’” Boyd said. “Does that violate the establishment clause? Does that violate the first amendment the same way that compelling a student to say it violates their first amendment rights?”

West plans to say the pledge during A.I., and flags were placed in each classroom the week prior. 

“Whether you choose to say the pledge or not does not either make you a patriot or not make you a patriot,” Boyd said. “It’s what you do for the rest of the day around those 30 seconds that makes you a good American.”

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Addison Smith, Online Editor
Addison Smith is a senior and Online Editor for the Owl Post. This is her third year on staff, previously serving as a staff member. Addison is involved in Rho Kappa, Link Crew and Quill & Scroll. Outside of school, Addison enjoys hanging out with friends, making art and watching TV shows, her favorites including, “The Rookie” and “Community.” Addison is looking forward to advancing the print paper, furthering her photography and writing stories about the community. What Addison loves most about journalism is the ability to spread information to the public and the fascinating world journalism provides through writing and photography. 

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