1998 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Jordan (24th), Hall, Dearing, Harvey, Thames, Hamilton, Browning, Farris, Walls, Horhn, Scoper, Smith, Posey, Tollison, Carter, Jackson, Simmons, Burton, Little
Senate Bill 2286
(As Passed the Senate)
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A COMPREHENSIVE K-12 PROGRAM FOR CHARACTER EDUCATION; TO PRESCRIBE THE CHARACTER TRAITS TO BE DEVELOPED BY SAID PROGRAM; TO AMEND SECTION 37-13-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT NO STUDENT WITH A RELIGIOUS OR CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION SHALL BE REQUIRED TO SAY THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The local school boards of the public school districts of this state are hereby authorized, in their discretion, to develop and implement, at the beginning of the 1998-1999 school year, a comprehensive program for character education in Grades K-12. This program of character education shall focus on students' development of the following character traits: courage, patriotism, citizenship, honesty, pride in quality work, fairness, respect for and obedience to the law, respect for others, kindness, cooperation, self-respect, self-control, courtesy, compassion, diligence, generosity, punctuality, cleanliness, cheerfulness, school pride, respect for the environment, patience, creativity, sportsmanship, loyalty and perseverance. Said program of character education shall include the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag as required in Section 37-13-7, Mississippi Code of 1972. The State Board of Education shall develop a model curriculum for character education and/or approve an existing model curriculum, to be made available to all school districts along with necessary technical assistance.
SECTION 2. Section 37-13-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-13-7. (1) The boards of trustees of the public schools of this state shall require the teachers under their control to have all pupils repeat the oath of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America at least once during each school month, such oath of allegiance being as follows:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
(2) The official pledge of the State of Mississippi shall read as follows:
"I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence in her future under the guidance of Almighty God."
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Mississippi flag shall be taught in the public schools of this state, along with the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag.
(3) No pupil with a religious or conscientious objection shall be required to repeat the pledges of allegiance to the United States or the Mississippi flags.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.