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Legislation Requires Flag Display in All MI Classrooms

Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation that requires every schoolroom to display a U.S. flag and give children the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The new law will take effect with the start of the 2013 school year. It’s not known how many schools or classrooms currently don’t allow time for students to say the Pledge of Allegiance. The new law says time must be set aside for the pledge in every public school classroom every school day. But students don’t have to say the pledge if they or their parents object. Forty three other states have a similar requirement.

State law already requires every public school to display a flag, but there was no requirement that every classroom have one. The state is not providing money for flags, but some veterans groups have said they will supply flags to schools that can’t afford them.

There weren’t many objections when the Legislature voted on the bills. But a few people said policies on displaying the flag and reciting the pledge should be left to local school boards.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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