News, Sports and Entertainment for St. Martin Parish, La.

Students still required to stand during Pledge

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School Board rejected call for change
Henri C. Bienvenu

With little discussion, the St. Martin School Board rejected a recommendation that would have changed the system’s policy governing student conduct during the daily pledge of allegiance.
Area school boards have come under fire for requiring certain conduct during recitation of the pledge and a consultant who monitors policy issues for the board had recommended a change in the parish student handbook.
As it now appears the policy reads:
“Every assembly or meeting in each school should begin with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and with the playing of the National Anthem.
“Throughout the playing (singing) of the National Anthem and/or the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, all students shall stand at respectful attention. During recitation of the pledge, each student (should) place his/her right hand over his/her heart.
“If a student, due to a conscientiously and sincerely held religious belief, feels entitled to an exemption to the requirement to recite the pledge, such student shall still be required to stand.”
The changed proposed would read as follows:
“ ... Throughout the playing (singing) of the National Anthem and/or the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, students shall be encouraged to exhibit respectful behavior.”
District 9 representative Floyd Knott and Richard Potier of District 7 offered a motion to retain the present policy and reject the proposed change.
The motion was unanimously approved.

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