Pledge ruling won't change school policy

The Moffat County School Board president said today that Wednesday's court ruling declaring it unconstitutional for school children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance won't change anything for the district.

The school district does currently require that the Pledge of Allegiance be recited each day. However, it does not require students and teachers to participate.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco made the ruling.

"At this time, in my mind, it's not going to change anything," Moffat County Board of Education President Phil Hastings said this morning.

"We're just going to have to wait and see how this pans out."

Hastings said the ruling would be considered by the school board.

"I don't know how this will affect the rest of the country," Hastings said. "Obviously, it is something we're going to have to discuss at the next school board meeting."

The next school board meeting is scheduled for July 15.

"Who's to say what the effect will be," Moffat County Board of Education Secretary Steve Hafey said. "I believe it will be appealed and most likely overturned at higher court."

Hafey said the school district currently has no intention of altering the mandated school district policy, which requires the recitation of the Pledge.

"We're not going to do anything at this point," Hafey said. "We'll keep doing exactly what we're doing. We've had no request to change policy."

At the heart of the ruling is the phrase "One nation under God."

The 9th Circuit Court ruled that leading children in the pledge is objectionable since the phrase is not "neutral with respect to religion."

The ruling comes after the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) passed a December resolution encouraging school districts to begin the day with Pledge of Allegiance.

Moffat County CASB representative John Kinkaid initiated the resolution.

The resolution also encouraged schools to display significant United States, and state historical documents.

Colorado schools, however, are not forced to participate in the terms of the resolution, only encouraged.

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