Forsyth school board votes to change Pledge of Allegiance policy

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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board voted Tuesday to tweak the school system’s policy on the Pledge of Allegiance after several months of discussion.

The board agreed to do away with a long-standing requirement that students cite a religious reason to opt out of the morning pledge, which is recited at the start of every school day.

Instead, students can opt out at will.

But if they don’t at least stand quietly during the pledge, their parents will be called and asked to write a note explaining that the student is exercising a First Amendment right.

The policy change passed the board 8-1 Tuesday, with Board Member Elisabeth Motsinger voting against it. Because policy changes typically take two votes, the board is slated to vote a second time at a later meeting.

Board members have discussed the pledge policy off and on since December. The system’s existing policy was seen as inconsistent with state law, which requires schools to display the U.S. flag and schedule the Pledge of Allegiance each day, but also says no one should be compelled to say it.

This article was written by Travis Fain and originally published by The Winston-Salem Journal. Click here to read more.