'I pledge allegiance to the Constitution'?: Proposed law would create oath for students
Students already pledge their allegiance to the flag. Now, some Arizona lawmakers want high schoolers across the state to do more.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Feb. 4, 2013 - UPDATED: Feb. 5, 2013
Reporter: Kevin Keen
Web Producer: Mekita Rivas
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Students already pledge their allegiance to the flag and "to the republic for which it stands." Now, some Arizona lawmakers want high schoolers across the state to do more.
A group of legislators introduced a bill that -- according to the published wording -- would require every public high school student to swear his or her allegiance to the U.S. Constitution at some point before graduating.
Under the proposal, a student would need to recite the following:
“I, (name), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; so help me God.”
The proposed law doesn't specify when and how the reciting would happen.
State Senator Chester Crandell (District 6) shared his motivation for supporting the measure over the phone.
“We spend a lot of (time) on diversity and all of those kinds of things -- promoting world history -- which I think is good, but spend very little time when talking about the founding fathers,” the Republican said, “how the constitution actually came about, and the experiment of making us one of the greatest nations in the world.”
Rep. Bob Thorpe (District 6) introduced the bill, but declined to be part of a recorded interview. The Republican said over the phone that he did not write the language of the bill and now has directed staff to change its wording so students would have the option of taking the oath.
Crandell said making amendments to a bill is a normal process. In this case, he presumed, the change was because of feedback from constituents and others.
The bill is not yet formally amended. Thorpe said if an amendment is not possible, he'll push to toss out the bill altogether.
The bill's sponsors are Reps. Bob Thorpe, Sonny Borrelli, Carl Seel,T.J. Shope, Steve Smith, Jeff Dial, David Livingston and Sen. Chester Crandell.