Capitol Hill Elementary principal Pam Wilson recently axed the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance from the school’s promotion ceremony this year because it has the words “under God” in it. According to Wilson, “so out of respect for the diversity of religious faiths practiced by our school community (parents and families) we decided that this year the students would memorize and sing the Preamble to the Constitution.”
Not only is this patently silly, as no one is required to join in the recitation, but it makes me wonder if this principal is in violation of Chapter 339 of the Oregon Revised Statutes, which states:
339.875 Procurement, display and salute of flags. (1) Each district school board shall:
(a) Procure a United States flag and an Oregon State flag of suitable sizes and shall cause such flags to be displayed upon or near each public school building during school hours, except in unsuitable weather, and at such other times as the board deems proper.
(b) Provide students with the opportunity to salute the United States flag at least once each week of the school year by reciting: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
(2) Students who do not participate in the salute provided for by this section must maintain a respectful silence during the salute. [Formerly 332.100 and then 336.045 and then 336.630; 1999 c.137 Â§1]
I hope parents and students at Capitol Hill will take the time to check and see if these statutes are being followed. In light of her ridiculous removal of the pledge from the end-of-year ceremony, it is certainly worth checking.