One Iowa senator has an idea for all teachers in the state: be more patriotic. Sure to generate interest nationally, this new bill, if passed, would give lawmakers more control over what happens in Iowa classrooms.

All Iowa teachers would need to recite the Pledge of Allegiance

Republican Sen. Adrian Dickey of Jefferson County’s Packwood introduced a bill, Senate File 2043, that would require all teachers in the state to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. They would also be required to stand while doing so unless they have a disability.

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The website Iowa Starting Line also reports the bill would limit what an educator can say about the Pledge of Allegiance. To quote, the bill reads:

A teacher shall not, while in the classroom with any students in kindergarten through grade twelve, speak about the pledge of allegiance in any manner in which the student or students in the classroom may reasonably understand the teacher’s speech to be any of the following: an unpatriotic commentary on the United States, an attempt to politically influence the student or students.

Violation would initially result in a written notice. For violation number two, the teacher would be suspended without pay. For strike three... termination.

Photo by Isabella and Zsa Fischer on Unsplash
Photo by Isabella and Zsa Fischer on Unsplash

For Iowa students, there would be no change

The bill has no language on what Iowa students would be required to do - though legally, no school can mandate a student to give the Pledge of Allegiance. This stems back to a 1943 Supreme Court ruling.

Whether this bill advances or not, it does bring up the issue of freedom of speech, and this piece of legislation is sure to generate a lot of discussion and argument.

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