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Allen pre-files bill requiring the playing of the national anthem

State Senator Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, has pre-filed a bill requiring that all Alabama public K-12 schools must play the Star-Spangled Banner at least once a week and at the start of all athletic contests.

Senate Bill 13 would require local boards of education to adopt policies requiring each K-12 public school to broadcast or sanction the performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the commencement of each school-sanctioned sporting event and at least once per week at each public K-12 school during school hours.

If the school has two or more school-sanctioned sporting events occur on the same day at the same school; then the school may choose to broadcast “The Star-Spangled Banner” at only one of the events.

Schools may select from any of the recordings of “The Star-Spangled Banner” that are archived within the Library of Congress and are available on the Library of Congress website.

A local board of education, alternatively, may adopt a policy allowing for any of the following at school-sanctioned sporting events, at schools during school hours, or both: a. The performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” from original sheet music, archived within the Library of Congress and available on its website, by a school-sanctioned band program or b. The performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” from original sheet music, archived within the Library of Congress and available on its website, by a school-sanctioned chorale program, vocal group, or vocalist; or c. The performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by the body of attendees of the event, to be led by a vocalist selected by the principal of the school hosting the event.

The Legislature will take up SB13 and other legislation when the 2020 Legislative Session begins on February 4.

The Legislature passed legislation requiring that the K-12 schools begin each school day with the Pledge of Allegiance last year.

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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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