Michigan lawmaker voted no on requiring flags, pledge in schools - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Michigan lawmaker voted against requiring flags, pledge in schools

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Rep. Vicki Barnett  (Credit: myFOXDetroit.com) Rep. Vicki Barnett (Credit: myFOXDetroit.com)
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FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (myFOXDetroit.com) -

Saying the Pledge of Allegiance to start the school day is a daily ritual for millions of students across the country.  Legislation approved by Michigan lawmakers will now require an American flag in every public school classroom.  A separate bill requires an opportunity for students to recite the pledge.  That bill is still being considered by the Senate.

"This is about creating citizens and respect for our heritage and our culture," Senator Roger Kahn, a Republican representing Saginaw, told WLNS-TV.

However, state Rep. Vicki Barnett, a Democrat from Farmington Hills, has a different take.  She said while she wholeheartedly supports the flag and the pledge, she doesn't support these bills.

"I voted no on trivializing those symbols as if our children aren't already doing these things.  They are, and I support that, but I don't support trivializing our nation's cherished symbols for political gain in an election year."

Barnett added lawmakers did not vote to pay for the flags for schools that can't afford them.

At Lanigan Elementary School in the Farmington school district, the principal said there are already flags in every classroom and the pledge is already part of the daily routine, so the law wouldn't change anything there.

"It brings us all together.  As a whole school community we're doing it at one time together, and so I think that's a nice plus, and it also teaches them the importance, I think, of the flag and of being an American," Rob Kauffman said.

He added students who don't want to say "one nation under God" for religious reasons are not required to participate.  The bill also allows that option.

43 other states currently have laws required the pledge to be recited.

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