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Bill would require schools to play Star-Spangled Banner weekly

Sen. Gerald Allen introduced the legislation that would require schools to play the national anthem at least once per week.

Then-Majority Leader Greg Reed presides over the Alabama Senate in 2018.

The 2021 Alabama legislative session is just four weeks away and already Alabama lawmakers are hard at work writing legislation and pre-filing bills ahead of the session. State Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Northport, has introduced legislation that would require public schools to play the national anthem at least once per school week as well as at sporting events.

According to the synopsis: “This bill 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.”

Senate Bill 3 has been assigned to the Senate Education Policy Committee. An exception will be made when 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.

Local boards of education shall select for broadcast from any of the recordings of “The Star-Spangled Banner” that are archived within the Library of Congress which are available on the Library of Congress website.

A local board of education may alternatively allow 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.

Another option would be to allow the performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by a school-sanctioned chorale program, vocal group, or vocalist. They can also perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” by the body of attendees of the event led by a vocalist selected by the principal of the school hosting the event.

SB3 would go into effect on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the governor, or its otherwise becoming law.

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

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