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Leon County Schools Remove Pledge of Allegiance Opt-Out Form

Pledge of allegiance opt out form
Pledge of allegiance opt out form
Posted at 10:16 AM, Aug 23, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Some parents were shocked on the first day of school when their kids brought home a Pledge of Allegiance opt out waiver.

The form states, "I understand my rights as a parent and I request that my child, noted above, be excused from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. This request includes standing and placing his/her right hand over his/her heart."

One person filed out the form (pictured below) and the story has since spread like wildfire on social media.

According to Leon County Schools, though they have always allowed students to opt-out of the Pledge of Allegiance, this is the first year that they have put a specific waiver in the student handbook.

According to spokesperson Chris Petley, the district is required by state law to allow students the right to opt out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

However, as of Tuesday morning, Petley said that the district has removed the opt-out waiver from the rest of the handbooks and will continue to notify parents of their rights by making them sign a form that just says they have read the student handbook.

Leon County School District has issued the following statement in response to the form:

"Leon County Schools values patriotism, civic responsibility, and the pledge of allegiance. 

A change to Florida law this year requires all school districts to publish in the student code of conduct booklet the students’ right to not participate in reciting the pledge of allegiance.

In complying with the change in law, our staff developed a form for parents to use to exercise that right. 

Superintendent Pons received several messages from the community in regards to this process and-- upon further inspection--made the decision to remove the form and revise the code of conduct booklet.  

We apologize for any confusion the form may have caused. We understand that approximately 400 paper copies were distributed before the superintendent stopped the process."