The Alabama House of Representatives voted Wednesday to concur with changes made by the Senate to a bill that would require the Pledge of Allegiance be recited at all K-12 public schools in the state each day before classes begin.
House Bill 339 was sponsored by State Rep. Nathanial Ledbetter, R-Rainsville.
HB339 would require that all schools recite the pledge at the beginning of the school day. Most public schools already do this but not all.
Ledbetter’s original bill did not require children to stand for the Pledge. State Sen. Vivian Figures, D-Mobile, offered an amendment to the bill so that children who refuse to stand for the pledge will not be punished. The Senate passed the bill as amended.
Ledbetter recommended to the body that they accept the Senate’s change.
Ledbetter said he decided to introduce this bill when his granddaughter came to Montgomery and asked her mother to teach her the pledge because she did not know it.
The bill does not require that students recite the pledge. It requires that the public employees who the state is paying to staff the schools to make the pledge part of the school day.
The House voted to concur with the Senate 95 to 1.
HB339 passed the Senate on a 25 to 4 vote. The four Senate Republicans who voted against the bill, all also opposed Sen. Figures’ amendment.
HB339 passed out of the House with strong bipartisan support on a vote of 93 to 0.
The legislation has now been sent to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk for her signature.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has released a statement announcing their opposition to the bill.