Politics

Attorney General Rutledge Introduces Faith Family Freedom Acts

Rutledge says, ‘This legislation is just one way we can honor those who put their lives on the line for our freedoms in America and Arkansas’


LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today introduced legislation aimed at strengthening American patriotism in schools throughout Arkansas called Faith Family Freedom Acts. The first of these acts is called “Star-Spangled Banner Act” and will require each public school to play The Star-Spangled Banner at the start of school-sanctioned sporting events. The second piece of legislation would make public schools observe a moment of silence following the daily Pledge of Allegiance of the United States.

“America is the greatest country in the world, yet cancel culture is trying to stamp out the foundation of our republic despite the generations of Americans and Arkansans who have fought and died for our country, and we must never forget their sacrifice,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This legislation is just one way we can honor those who put their lives on the line for our freedoms in America and Arkansas.”

Rutledge believes it is deeply important for Arkansas students to learn the national anthem because the goal of the Star-Spangled Banner Act is to foster patriotism and celebrate the common American experience. The legislation states Arkansas public schools, K-12 and post-secondary institutions, must adopt a policy requiring each school to broadcast The Star-Spangled Banner at the beginning of each sporting event. If there are more than one school-sanctioned sporting events that occur on the same day, the school may choose to play the national anthem at one of those events. K-12 schools must also play the national anthem once during school hours, and the school band and choir programs may learn and perform The Star-Spangled Banner. If passed, these changes must be implemented by January 1, 2022.

Moment of Silence Act is amending current state law to make it mandatory that students recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day in school. If passed, the State Board of Education would issue a policy that requires public schools K-12 to take a one-minute moment of silence following the daily Pledge of Allegiance during the first class of each school day. During that moment of silence, each student may reflect, pray, meditate, or engage in any other silent activity that would not interfere or distract another student.

Senator Jane English, District 34, and Representative Mark Berry, District 82, are the lead sponsors of both bills.

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