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Colo. high school students walk out during Pledge

By The Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. — About 50 Boulder High School students walked out of class on Sept. 27 to protest the daily reading of the Pledge of Allegiance and recited their own version, omitting ''one nation, under God.''

The students say the phrase violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

They also say the daily reading of the pledge over the school public address system at the start of the second class takes away from education time and is ignored or mocked by some students.

A state law passed in 2004 requires schools to offer the opportunity to recite the pledge each day but does not require students to participate.

The protesting students, members of the Student Worker Club, want administrators to hold the pledge reading in the auditorium during each of the school's two lunch periods for any students who want to participate.

Otherwise, they said, they plan to walk out each Thursday when the pledge is read and recite their version, which omits the reference to God and adds allegiance to constitutional rights, diversity and freedom, among other things.

''Boulder High has a highly diverse population, not all of whom believe in God, or one god,'' said Emma Martens, a senior and president of the club, which has about a dozen members.

''We didn't think it was fair for the whole school to have to listen to it. It's almost religious oppression,'' she said.

Principal Bud Jenkins told the Camera newspaper on its Web site Sept. 27 that the pledge would not be moved, but added he was proud of the students for standing up for their beliefs.

It was not immediately clear what discipline, if any, the protesting students would face.


Colorado governor signs revamped Pledge bill

New law, which makes recitation of oath 'an opportunity' instead of requirement, is weaker version of statute that federal judge declared unconstitutional. 03.22.04

Colorado town trustee ousted over Pledge flap
David Habecker says he is considering fighting move in court, says being voted out of office for refusing to recite oath violates First Amendment. 03.24.05

Pledge of Allegiance in public schools

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