Legislature(1999 - 2000)

02/22/2000 03:38 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
         HB 192-PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS                                                                          
Number 1618                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES, sponsor of HB 192, stated the flag salute is                                                              
an important part of patriotism in our country.  The goal is to                                                                 
require public schools to conduct regular flag exercises, which                                                                 
include the pledge of allegiance.  No one will be compelled to                                                                  
recite the pledge against their conscience or belief system.                                                                    
Students who object to reciting the pledge on grounds of conscience                                                             
or belief are asked to maintain a respectful silence.  In proposed                                                              
Senate CS (1-LS0837\I) for CS for HB 192 "regularly" on line 7, has                                                             
been deleted.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR GREEN moved to adopts SCS for CS for HB 192(STA)(1-                                                                     
LS0837\I)as the working version of the committee. There being no                                                                
objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said there is a proposed amendment to delete                                                               
"as determined by the governing body."                                                                                          
SENATOR ELTON stated other things such as time and classes could be                                                             
determined by the governing body.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated the amendment is up to the committee.                                                               
SENATOR GREEN moved the amendment, Senator Wilken objected.                                                                     
SENATOR WILKEN stated keeping "the governing body" allows the                                                                   
school board latitude to determine how the pledge is recited daily.                                                             
If the amendment passes, the school board will be removed from the                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES agreed.  She thought "the governing body"                                                                  
didn't need to be in the bill because there is no problem with                                                                  
leaving the language.                                                                                                           
Number 1820                                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN WARD stated the motion has been withdrawn.                                                                             
SENATOR WILKEN asked if input has been made by school districts                                                                 
around the State on CS for HB 192 (JUD).                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said they have heard from some school                                                                      
districts, they support CS for HB 192 (JUD) because it sets a                                                                   
standard across the State.                                                                                                      
SENATOR PHILLIPS said the school districts need to explain why                                                                  
certain children maintain silence during the pledge to avoid                                                                    
scrutiny from other children.                                                                                                   
SENATOR ELTON asked if CS for HB 192 (JUD) excluded private                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated that was correct.                                                                                   
Number 2044                                                                                                                     
MS. DENNY WEATHERS said the government requires children to attend                                                              
school and chooses the type of education the children learn.                                                                    
Children should be taught to respect others, even children who do                                                               
not recite the pledge.  HB 192 is very important to Alaska and our                                                              
country.  Ms. Weathers recited the history of the flag, and the                                                                 
pledge of allegiance.                                                                                                           
MS. DEMIENTIEFF stated there are certain values missing in children                                                             
today.  The pledge of allegiance is a core value that should be                                                                 
welcomed back into the schools.  We should celebrate things that                                                                
unify our nation, the pledge being one of them.                                                                                 
MR. CLEVELAND said many different cultures live within our country                                                              
and the pledge should be something the public sees eye-to-eye on.                                                               
SENATOR GREEN moved SCS for CS for HB 192 (STA) with individual                                                                 
recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.  There being no                                                                  
objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   

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