Pledge of Allegiance

Pledge of Allegiance added to daily morning announcements as enforced by state law

Marina Escandell

When Governor Kim Reynolds signed HF 847 into law, Iowa schools are now required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily. Every morning, City High Principal John Bacon reads the Pledge of Allegiance as soon as the first period bell rings. 

Bacon emphasized that while he is required to recite the pledge by recent state law, he respects every student’s decision to participate or not.

“There’s a state legislature in Iowa that passed a law this summer. It says that the Pledge of Allegiance shall be read in every school, every day. It’s supposed to happen at a regular occurring time and you’re supposed to develop a routine,” Bacon said. “It’s literally state law. Though, it is a student’s personal choice whether or not they want to take part. It’s totally not forced.”

Bacon stresses that while he is required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, nobody at City High is required to participate with him. While observing the student body response, he reports feeling impressed with the level of respect maintained by students. 

“Overall, I’ve been really pleased with how students have handled this,” said Bacon. “ I feel like, for the most part, everyone has been understanding of the fact that this is a state law. I also have not heard of any disruption or problems that have happened at the classroom level because of this.” 

According to Penelope Willmoth ‘24, many students have displayed a level of indifference when it comes to this law and remember the pledge as merely a pastime from elementary school. Willmoth reports that whether read or not, it has little effect on the students’ mornings. 

“I mostly don’t even hear it,” Willmoth said. “There’s a lot of talking in my class. I don’t think people really care about it. I’ve never really had an opinion on it either, the last time we had to say it was in fourth grade.” 

Ellie Eisenberg ‘25 reports that every classroom responds in a different way based on the group of students. She mentions that in her classroom, nobody stands but rather looks at their phone. Adrian Bostian ‘23 had similar thoughts.

“My first period is orchestra. Nobody in the class says it. We don’t stand up or anything, we kind of just listen,” Bostian said. “You know, I think we enjoy it. Mr. Bacon performs it pretty well.

Despite being the minority at City High, there are students who choose to recite the pledge every day. Some choose to do so out of personal experiences. 

“I’m a military brat. My dad is in the military and I grew up around bases. So every school I’ve been to has done the Pledge of Allegiance every day. I grew up with that being a required thing. At the same time, I know what it stands for and I appreciate and respect it,” Kayden Jensen ’25 said. “For the first couple of weeks, people didn’t even realize it was being said. Now, I think more people recognize it. Not everyone stands, but people are more respectful.” 

There are often also familial ties that lead people to stand. 

“I’ve always stood for it but I respect everyone else,” Abe Ferber ‘23 said. “If you want to sit for it you can sit for it. I don’t have much of an opinion on it. A few people stand up in my classroom, this includes me, but the majority sit down. There have not been any problems with that. I stand because I’ve had a few people in my family, my grandpa specifically, serve. So I just do what I want to do.” 

According to Principle Bacon, the City High administration has worked to create a welcoming environment for students with all preferences. 

“We tried to set the tone in the beginning that part of being in America is having the right to choose,” Bacon said. “Whether they want to stand and put their hands over their hearts or sit and not participate at all. That is a choice.”