Bill Would Require Daily Singing Of National Anthem In Iowa Schools

Des Moines, Iowa — A bill introduced in the Iowa House would require that students and teachers in Iowa public schools stand at attention and sing the National Anthem daily.

Representative Sue Cahill, a Democrat from Marshalltown, is one of the legislators assigned to review the bill and she asked everyone present to join her in singing the National Anthem.

Cahill says the Iowa Capitol’s a perfect place to sing the song, but patriotism comes from the heart and shouldn’t be forced. “Teachers have enough to do right now without adding another requirement to implement and then handle consequences if students don’t participate correctly,” Cahill said.

If the bill as written becomes law, teachers and students who object to singing the National Anthem would be required to stay silent and stand while others sing. The bill says students in every grade should be taught the words and history of the song and how to love, honor, and respect the anthem. It also specifies at least one of the four verses of the song be sung every school day — and on patriotic occasions, the entire song would be sung.

Republican Representative Henry Stone of Forest City says backing the bill is a no-brainer for him. “I support patriotism and anything we can do to advance that,” Stone says. “I look forward to moving this bill forward, having more conversations in committee and to see how that pans out.”

Stone retired after a 23-year career in the Air Force and is the third generation of his family to serve in the military.

Republican Representative Phil Thompson of Boone also voted to send the bill to the House Education Committee.

Dave Daughton is a lobbyist for the School Administrators of Iowa and Rural School Advocates of Iowa. He says the groups aren’t opposed to patriotism.

Damian Thompson of Iowa Safe Schools says he’s not crazy about having people kneel or sit for the National Anthem.

The bill only applied to public schools in Iowa. Private schools would be exempt from classroom instruction on the National Anthem and singing the song daily.


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