Arizona State Rep. John Filmore (R) has introduced a bill that would make it mandatory for students in the state to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in schools.
The bill would amend current state law which requires schools in the state to set aside time for students to recite the pledge but does not mandate participation, according to The Associated Press.
Under the legislation being proposed by Filmore, also known as House Bill 2017, students in kindergarten programs and grades 1-12 would be required in say the pledge in schools across the state.
“Pupils shall recite the pledge of allegiance to the united states flag during this time,” the bill states. The bill adds, however, that students can be excused from the requirement at the request of a parent.
The bill states that it would also require Arizona school districts to have time set aside in their classes each day for students to “engage in quiet reflection and moral reasoning for at least one minute."
The time is intended to be used by students to "engage in quiet reflection and moral reasoning.” Students can be excused from that requirement as well with a parent’s request.
The bill applies to public school districts and charter schools in the state but includes exemptions for “private schools, parochial schools and homeschools,” it states.
The topic over whether children should be required to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance has been met with much debate in the nation in recent years since attacked former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games.
The on-field demonstrations by Kaepernick later became a movement among other players in the league in an effort to protest racial inequality and police brutality.
In the years following, a number of incidents involving students who refuse to stand for the pledge in schools have garnered widespread attention. Last year, a Colorado teacher was accused of assaulting a student after the child refused to stand for the pledge.