Delaware Vote Tracker

HB 107 – First Amendment Rights of School Students

House Bill 107 is definitely one of those bills that Conservatives will be outraged about, even though it would protect the freedom of students, and Conservatives are supposed to like Freedom, as Ted Cruz’s screams at CPAC would indicate. And yet, we all know that Conservatives don’t care about freedom. They do not care about the First Amendment right to self expression, and would rather mandate loyalty oaths, as they demonstrated at CPAC in their bowing to their Dear Leader.

Apparently, in the Delaware State Code as we speak is a law that mandates students and teachers “salute and pledge allegiance to the American flag,” and failure to do so results in a $50 fine or a prison sentence of up to 10 days for teachers who don’t force their students to stand and recite the pledge each day.

This practice, and a similar law, was found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1943 in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette.

So to be clear, to preempt the already spreading Republican lies (and they are lies) about this bill, this bill does not ban the Pledge of Allegiance or the American flag from our schools. It simply does away with a law that forces students to stand and recite the pledge against their will, and that forces teachers to force their students to stand and recite the pledge against their will. The Pledge will still happen. The flag will still be there. Those who want to stand and recite the pledge will do so. And those who don’t want to, don’t have to, as is their Constitutional right.

House Bill 107 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Baumbach, Morrison, Kowalko, Wilson-Anton
S.McBride, Pinkney, Sokola
Current Status — House Education 2/19/21

Indeed, House Bill 107 “preserves the requirement that students have the opportunity to salute and pledge allegiance to the American flag each school day but revises the Code so that the requirement complies with the First Amendment of the Constitution.” And that means the removing the requirement that every stand and salute and replacing it with a requirement that schools provide an opportunity for students to stand and salute and recite the pledge if they want to.

That is what we call Freedom.

But what Republicans, Trumpists and Conservatives want is Authoritarian Nationalism, where the state forces you to declare your loyalty or risk punishment.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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