Fight over the Pledge in Poway leads to another re-write - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Fight over the Pledge in Poway leads to another re-write

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Poway, Calif. (CBS 8) - A revision to the Pledge of Allegiance announcement will take effect at all schools in the Poway Unified School District at the end of this week. Parents sounded off at a board meeting on Monday night after some parents were upset that the current wording allowed students to opt out of standing for the pledge.

The new announcement will now say "You are now invited to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Ready, begin."

Before this re-write, the announcement included the directive to student who didn't wish to participate: "Others please stand or sit quietly." Some parents say the wording encouraged apathy and disrespect.

"They had been saying, 'If you'd like to participate, please stand. That invited kids to be apathetic," said father Steve Vaus. "We prefer that it just be an invitation."

Parents speaking at Monday's school board meeting praised the district's decision to change the Pledge of Allegiance announcement.

"It's not a choice: it is your responsibility to stand up and respect your flag and your country," said one mother.

The state education code requires all public schools to offer a patriotic exercise every school day. Reciting the pledge satisfies that requirement. But that code is balanced by the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution, which says nobody shall be compelled to recite the pledge.

Poway Unified officials say they believe the change will preserve every student's right whether they choose to say the pledge or not.

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