Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Certain AZ Legislators Want High Schoolers to Recite a Loyalty Oath Before Graduating

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 5:53 PM

There are few things more amazing than some of the bills that get thrown around at the beginning of the Legislative session.

Take, for instance, HB 2467, a proposed measure sponsored by seven legislators (six representatives and a senator) from around the metro Phoenix area; northern and northwestern Arizona; and more.

With such wide-ranging membership of representatives from around the state, this must be a bill of massive importance, right?

Well...take a look at the bill's text:

BEGINNING IN THE 2013‑2014 SCHOOL YEAR, IN ADDITION TO FULFILLING THE COURSE OF STUDY AND ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS PRESCRIBED IN THIS CHAPTER, BEFORE A PUPIL IS ALLOWED TO GRADUATE FROM A PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL IN THIS STATE, THE PRINCIPAL OR HEAD TEACHER OF THE SCHOOL SHALL VERIFY IN WRITING THAT THE PUPIL HAS RECITED THE FOLLOWING OATH:

I, _________, 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.

Yeah. An oath of loyalty to graduate high school. As if reciting the Pledge of Allegiance weekly—at least—isn't enough for these people.

I have nothing against "solemnly swearing to uphold the Constitution," but making this a requirement for to receive what amounts to proof that you can read and write your name (which is incredible, given our current educational rankings) cheapens the sentiment, doesn't it?

Plus, you're swearing that you're taking an oath freely when you're being coerced into taking the damn thing, again, in order to graduate. I'm pretty sure that makes the rest of the oath invalid, doesn't it?

Brilliant work from those folks up north. For more on the bill, including the legislators who proposed it, check out the Legislature's info page here.

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