A principal in Pennsylvania is having to change his morning routine concerning reciting the pledge of allegiance due to at least one complaint from a parent that he said “God Bless America” to his students.
As ABC News reports, principal Peter Brigg at Sabold Elementary School in Springfield regularly would say the words “God Bless America” after students would recite the pledge. But, after a complaint from at least one parent to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the principal has been told to stop.
“The group claimed it violated the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition of government sponsoring religious messages,” Fox News 13 reports. “The district decided to cease the practice after consulting with its lawyer. In a statement, the district says it is not prohibiting students from reciting ‘God bless America’ after the pledge on their own.”
Freedom From Religion Foundation also said “young elementary school children don’t need to be coerced into affirming God’s name every morning.”
Here’s more, from the Hill:
“To be clear, the District has not altered the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and has not prohibited students from deciding on their own, as their own form of self-expression, whether or not to state the words, ‘God Bless America,’” the district said in its statement.
After consulting with its lawyer, the district decided not ending the practice would open itself up to litigation it says “the local taxpayers would have to financially support.“
“We understand that this is an important topic for many of our constituents; however, please understand that the District does not make the law,” the statement read. “We follow it.”