A bill approved by the state Senate on Tuesday and sent to the governor would require schools to have students say the Pledge of Allegiance once a week.
The measure, approved 41-0, was authored by Sen. Larry Boggs, R-Wilburton.
Boggs said he introduced the bill at the request of constituents.
“At first I was surprised because almost all of our schools down there say the Pledge of Allegiance almost every day, but they had some concern about schools that weren’t doing it,” he said.
Boggs said he initially had mixed emotions about introducing the bill, but finally did so because “I got enough input from my people saying that we needed to clarify that.
“As a Vietnam vet and a military guy I was almost like, you know, forcing someone to say the pledge is kind of against the whole principle we stand for.”
Kim Lanier, superintendent of the Oakdale School District in Oklahoma City, said a daily Pledge of Allegiance is standard in his schools.
“I would assume most have something similar,” Lanier said. “Every morning we say the pledge, and the pledge to the Oklahoma flag, then a moment of silence.”
Fred Rhodes, superintendent of Putnam City Schools, said the pledge is standard in his schools as well.
“Generations of Putnam City students at every level have recited the Pledge of Allegiance daily,” he said. “It’s a tradition in our district, a way of connecting our school communities to values the American flag stands for.”
Boggs said his bill is more of an encouragement than something with enforcement teeth.
“We won’t have the flag police or anybody out there after them,” he said. “I’m not trying to play Gestapo.”