In light of recent events, Pasco County Schools believes it is prudent to remind all parents, students, and staff about Florida law (S. 1003.44, Florida Statutes), and by extension, School Board Policy (8800) regarding students standing for and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. In compliance with Florida Statute, School Board Policy provides the expectation that the pledge be recited at the start of each school day, and that staff members are authorized to lead students in this recitation. That being said, both law and policy continue by providing that no student shall be compelled/required to participate in the recitation of the Pledge, and that upon written request by the student’s parent (or guardian), a student shall be excused from reciting the pledge, including standing and placing the right hand over his/her heart. This means that kneeling or other non-disruptive forms of non-participation will generally be considered as permissible alternatives to the traditional recitation of the Pledge, provided that the demonstrating student has provided a written request from his/her parent in advance. Students should be reminded, however, that any conduct that is considered to be vulgar, violent, or disruptive is still subject to normal disciplinary procedures. Although not specifically addressed in policy, peaceful non-participation in the National Anthem will also be considered permissible by school officials.
If you do not want your student to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance, please send a note to his/her principal in advance. The District would like to thank all parents in advance for assisting us in keeping our time, efforts, and resources focused on the provision of quality educational services to the students of Pasco County.