SoPo High School adopts new pledge rules | News

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SoPo High School adopts new pledge rules

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Faculty at South Portland High School officially approved a procedure for saying the Pledge of Allegiance after students sparked a controversy over leading the pledge.

The new proposal makes clear that students are being invited not ordered to say the Pledge of Allegiance, said senior class President Lily SanGiovanni. Principal Ryan Caron said that SanGiovanni will begin the pledge with, "I now invite you to rise and join me for the Pledge of Allegiance."

SanGiovanni, Gaby Ferrell and Morrigan Turner began adding "if you'd like to" while leading the pledge over the school's intercom earlier this school year. SanGiovanni, Ferrell and Turner said they wanted to make clear that the pledge is optional under law.

The controversy gained national attention. Caron told the Portland Press Herald he heard from people in 30 states.

The girls presented the new proposal to the faculty. It says that "all staff and students are expected to remain quiet and respectful for the duration of the recitation of the pledge."

It also says that "a student may not be compelled by any staff member to participate in the pledge in any way that the student does not wish to, regardless of a staff member's individual beliefs about the pledge."

The law varies state to state whether schools and/or students are required to say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. Maine does not require schools to say it, but New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut do.


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