SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – High school students in the Sioux Falls School District won’t be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, due to a new school board policy adopted earlier this week.
KDLT.com reports the Sioux Falls school board’s updated “Flags and Patriotic Activities” policy formally requires elementary and middle school students to say the Pledge every school day, but not high schoolers.
The board decided the complex schedules used at the district’s three high schools didn’t allow for a consistent time for students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
That decision didn’t sit well with the “half dozen uniformed veterans” who addressed the school board during its recent Tuesday evening meeting – which occurred one day after the nation celebrated Veteran’s Day,KeloLand.com reports.
“This is what we are asking, ten seconds a day from standup until sit down. Ten seconds to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day,” Jim Borman, one of the veterans, explained to the board.
Board members refused to change the policy, adding that it based on feedback from principals who said students find it more meaningful to recite the Pledge before special occasions, such as a school assembly.
The veterans didn’t appear convince by the board’s reasoning.
Dave Saunders pointed out that it took one of his fellow veterans, who was wounded in war, “longer to get out and get up and get his crutches, then it would have taken the students to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.”
“Yet they decided they didn’t have enough time in their day to do it,” Saunders told KeloLand.com. “He gave almost all he had for our country, but our school district couldn’t give ten seconds, sorry.”
It appears at least one Sioux Falls high school will continue reciting the Pledge, despite the board’s decision to not officially require it.
“I think it’s important that everybody realize the sacrifices our military have made for the freedoms that we have,” Lennox High School Principal Tim Raabe told KDLT.com.