The wind blows gently across the rolling hills hidden beneath endless fields of green and gold corn. A soft sound drifts out of the open windows of an elementary school. It’s the pledge of allegiance being carefully recited by a class of second-graders. “One Nation, Under God, In-di-vi-si-ble, With Liberty and Justice For All”.
KCRG in Des Moines report that Iowa lawmakers are debating a bill that would require students to say the pledge of allegiance each day at school. The bill, House File 415 would also require schools to display the flag in the classroom while students recite the pledge.
NBC affiliate KWWL adds that the law requires “accredited and non-accredited K-12 schools to show the flag and administer the pledge to 1st-12th grade students every day. Schools would also be required to fly the U.S. and Iowa flags on all school days when weather permits.”
According to KWWL,
“Non-public schools could opt out if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. While schools would be required to administer the pledge, students would not be required to recite the pledge, if they so choose. That’s because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1943 that forcing students to recite the pledge is a violation of the First Amendment.”
The bill passed the Iowa House by a 91-3 vote. It now heads to the Senate for approval. 22 year old Iowa Representative Carter Nordman (R-Dallas County) gave his closing statement on HF415,
“What makes this country so great is that we can be on opposite sides of the political spectrum, we can disagree and we can hove those debates.
But at the end of the day, we all know that we are united under one flag and that’s why I believe the Pledge of Allegiance is so important .
this is a good bill for students, for our schools, and a good bill for the sate of Iowa.”
Representative @CarterNordman's closing comment on HF 415 showcases that regardless of politics, the Pledge of Allegiance unites us all as Americans. This bill passed with a bipartisan vote of 90-3! 🇺🇸 #ialegis #iagop pic.twitter.com/uHUyCW89VQ
— Iowa House GOP (@IAHouseGOP) February 16, 2021
Democrat Rep. Bruce Hunter Spoke Out Against The Pledge
According to the Iowa Standard, Democrat Rep. Hunter “said he had concerns about students who might want to kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance. And what might happen to them should they decide to kneel during the Pledge.” Rep. Nordman replied that the bill wasn’t a political issue “Nothing will happen to them,” he said.
“It’s going to turn into a political issue whether you like it or not,” Hunter said. “Because if somebody does that, I can almost guarantee that maybe not somebody from the political parties, maybe not somebody from the outside, but there are going to be people in that school, classmates, whatever, that are going to have problems with that.”
The Democratic Rep also decided to bring up Black Lives Matter talking points the Iowa Standard wrote
“it’s important to teach kids about what makes America great, but also what America’s faults are.
“Patriotism, in my mind, is sticking up and saying that it’s not OK to kneel on our brothers for eight minutes until he is dead,” Hunter said. “Speaking up is being a patriot.”
Hunter then said he knows the bill says students will recite it voluntarily, but noted that “in reality, it’s not voluntary.”
“Kids in grades kindergarten through 12th grade are probably some of the meanest people in the world,” Hunter said.
He then defeated his own premise “And this is coming from somebody that doesn’t have any kids.”