one of your legislators to visit your school during
Back to School Week.
Ask your legislator to describe the intent of the law, why he/she voted
for or against the bill. Ask your legislator if he/she will consider
gathering student ideas for improving the bill. Legislators might also
address additional ideas of interest to students.
School Policy: While the legislature created the new policy,
the executive branch also played its role in the policy development
process. Governor Owens signed the bill into law and the Commissioner
of Education sent a memo to all school districts explaining the new
law and the responsibility of school administrators (note that the development
of implementing regulations is an often-neglected part of the policy
development process). Based on Federal District Court orders the Colorado
Department of Education will send new guidelines for reciting the Pledge
of Allegiance in school districts.
review at least two of the policy statements given here:
Statement from the Colorado Association of School Boards.
Policy Statement, Madison, Wisconsin.
Center for Law and Justice,
to design a policy for their school that would make it safe and comfortable
for students who want to say the Pledge as well as those who do not.
Invite the principal to visit your class and discuss the students’
proposed policy’s pros and cons from the viewpoint of a school
4. Policies of
Other States: An overarching question related to this state
law is "Should reciting the Pledge be a state mandate?" Challenge
students to find out how many other states have similar laws requiring
daily recitation of the Pledge. How are these laws from other states
similar to and different from Colorado's law? Students can visit the
website of the National
Conference of State Legislatures for recent "tracking"
of this issue. Students can also visit the website of the Education
Commission of the States for updates on the Pledge in other
5. Policy Issues
for Colorado: There are several policy questions that may also
- What are the costs
and benefits of daily recitation of the Pledge in school?
- Is a Pledge policy
best implemented at the state, school district, or school level?
- Should schools be involved
in developing a Pledge policy?
- What role should schools
fill in developing responsible citizens? Participating citizens?
- What role should the
state government have in promoting responsible citizenship and fostering
Students may want to monitor
and analyze the legislative process through which the Pledge law will
be re-written during the 2004 legislative session. Some classes may
choose to present their ideas to the legislators who represent their
district in the format of a town meeting or a simulated legislative
hearing-- or even testify directly in state legislative hearings.