After twice revising an announcement preceding the Pledge of Allegiance for Twin Peaks Middle School students this semester, Poway schools Superintendent John Collins said Wednesday the district is still analyzing the wording to make sure it’s legally sound.
Collins said he decided to revise the announcement at the beginning of the semester on Aug. 25 to clarify that the pledge isn’t mandatory after several Twin Peaks parents requested the change.
The announcement is piped into classes over a public address system at the start of each day.
Registration material given to students each year explains that the pledge is optional, but Collins said several parents with children who don’t want to recite the pledge asked for a daily reminder that it’s not mandatory.
Collins said district staff members and attorneys worked on the wording, resulting in students at the start of this semester hearing the announcement: “For those who wish to participate, please stand. Others, please stand or sit quietly.”
Parents were not notified before the change, and many objected to the wording and complained to trustees and Poway Unified School District officials in phone calls and e-mails. Eight people spoke at Monday night’s board meeting – seven against and one for the change – where Collins told the audience the announcement had been revised again.
The new announcement, which Collins said began Tuesday, reads: “It’s time for the Pledge of Allegiance. Those of you who wish to participate, please stand.”
“I didn’t think that the wording would create such a reaction,” Collins said Wednesday.