Pledge of Allegiance policy changes at Bedford Area School District
BEDFORD -- Bedford Area School District has made a change to their school handbook, and it's getting a lot of attention on social media.
School administrators have officially rewritten their policy on the Pledge of Allegiance.
6News spoke Thursday to the district's superintendent, who said that while the district has strong American ideals, they need to ensure their policies are in line with the law.
If a student doesn't want to stand for the pledge, they don't have to because of their First Amendment rights.
However the district's current handbook states that a teacher is allowed to punish a student for not standing. The district's legal team pointed out that policy is illegal.
"Personally, I hope every student will stand for our flag," said Allen Sell, the superintendent.
"But if they choose not to, that's their First Amendment rights and we, as school leaders, have the responsibility to respect that.The topic of standing, or not standing, has been getting a lot of national attention, most commonly because of protests at NFL games.
School administrators noticed their guidebook required students to stand, and the board decided to make the change. Sell said in the past three decades, the district has not had an issue with a student being disciplined for choosing not to stand.
"If you walk our halls in the morning, you'll see students and staff who are in the hallway, find the nearest classroom to pledge allegiance to our flag, that's what's happening in our school."