There’s some surprising political news coming out of Florida’s capital this week. School’s back in session, and the Leon County Public Schools, in Tallahassee, have sent home a waiver that allows students to opt out of saying the pledge of allegiance.
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Micah Brienen posted the image on Facebook. It had been sent to him by his sister-in-law. Mr. Brienen’s niece is a student in the Leon County school system.
“I was immediately shocked by it,” Mr. Brienen, told Fox News. “I thought it was a fake.”
Here’s the text of the waiver:
“I understand my rights as a parent and I request that my child, noted above, be excused from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. This request includes standing and placing his/her right hand over his/her heart.”
Brienen wrote on his Facebook post: “My niece brought this home from school today…What is happening to our country?!?”
“I believe it’s another stop in the progressive political movement to destroy the education system,” Mr. Brienen said in his interview with Fox. “We have a lot of American values and traditions that seem to be whittling away.”
“This is a response to a Florida law voted on by the Florida Legislature and signed by Governor Rick Scott,” said Chris Petley, the spokesman for Leon County Schools.
The law Petley is referring to is Florida Statue 1003.44. That law mandates the action. It means that all public schools in must allow students to opt out if they wish. “…each student shall be informed by a written notice published in the student handbook or a similar publication pursuant to s. 1006.07(2) that the student has the right not to participate in reciting the pledge.”
“We are required to comply with the law,” Petley replied.
Conservatives across the country are furious about the move, citing optional participation in the Pledge of Allegiance as one more cornerstone of patriotism under attack.