By a vote of 113-24, the House on Thursday gave its approval to a resolution that encourages schools to have their students recite the pledge of allegiance at the start of the school day.
This debate marks the fourth time in just two weeks that House members have devoted a sizeable amount of floor time to consider a resolution – a document that does not have the force of law.
Other debates have taken place over resolutions involving the Champion land deal, flag desecration and a woman’s right to have an abortion.
Essex Representative Linda Kirker strongly supported the idea of having students say the pledge of allegiance:
(Kirker) “I personally can’t think of a more important minute in the school day than to take a moment and have the opportunity to demonstrate respect for that symbol which stands for the lives and the commitment and the sacrifices that have been made in this country.”
But when a Republican member asked for a roll call on this issue, Plainfield Democrat Donny Osman told members of the House that he felt the debate was being motivated by political considerations:
(Osman) “Â¿and if people are questioning each other’s patriotism and we are measuring each other’s patriotism through how we cast our votes on the floor or in other ways, that is when we sow the seeds of disunity within our nation and add danger to our already dangerous world.”
The measure will now be reviewed by the Senate.