Arizona Republicans just introduced legislation that would require all graduating high school seniors to recite a "U.S. Loyalty Oath" in order to graduate. Similar to the oath public officials must make in order to take office, the oath says:
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.
Notice that last part? It would be required too - no exceptions. If this legislation were to be signed into law, anyone who does not subscribe to the phrase "God" (atheists, agnostics, Muslims, etc.) would either have to make a false oath (also violating their First Amendment religious rights) or refuse and not graduate high school.
While some level of patriotism and civic duty should definitely be instilled in schools, no student should be required to violate their religious beliefs in order to obtain a diploma - especially in an economy where every a college-level degree doesn't guarantee employment. Arizona Republicans aren't doing their educational system any favors in proposing this hyper-partisan legislation; in fact, if anything, they're harming children as taxpayer money that could go toward new textbooks or teacher salaries will inevitably have to go to the lawsuits defending this law (should it pass).
When will Republicans learn that we must all coexist peacefully?
[Article Source: Patheos]