A story in today’s Houston Chronicle [HoustonChronicle.com] reports that the Texas House yesterday approved by a vote of 132-4 “a bill that would require [emphasis mine] public school students to pledge allegiance to the American and Texas flags each day and observe a minute of silent reflection.” This replaces a previous law that allowed local school districts the option of offering a period of silence and reciting the pledge. Governor Rick Perry is reported to be supportive of the new stricter measure, and is expected to sign it into law.
The bill was sponsored by Dan Branch (R-Dallas) who said the bill would have a positive impact on schoolchildren by emphasizing patriotism. The sponsor of the Senate version, Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) stated, “I believe it is a citizen’s responsibility, especially in the greatest nation on Earth … that we train our young students to be loyal to our country.”
Required oaths? Mandated daily public restatements of loyalty? This just chills me to the marrow.