Not satisfied with being number one in the United States in high school education (correction: number one in high school dropouts), Arizona lawmakers have come up with two hot new proposals to make it harder for students to get their diplomas.
One proposed bill requires students to say the Pledge of Allegiance — current law tells schools to make time for the pledge recitation for "for those students who wish" — unless they're excused "at the request of a parent" who can explain why their son or daughter hates America.
But perhaps this group of lawmakers can raise the education-reform stakes a bit more, with a second proposal:
"Before a pupil is allowed to graduate from a public high school in this state, the principal or head teacher of the school shall verify in writing that the pupil has recited the following oath:
"I, _________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; so help me God."
Nothing says "I take this obligation freely" quite like a state law that withholds your diploma unless you swear an oath.
Still, there's a compromise to be made here. A large number of students in Arizona are undocumented immigrants. And there's a rather extensive oath you can require them to take in exchange for another kind of government-issued certificate, if only conservative lawmakers would allow it.
One Night in a Field with Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Arizona, Education, Immigration, State Legislature