Bay City Public Schools Superintendent Doug Newcombe says most schools in his 8,400-student district already set aside time to recite the Pledge of Allegiance — and some of those buildings' classrooms have U.S. flags on the wall.
He said his district doesn't need a law to follow that time-honored tradition, but one is likely coming regardless: The Michigan House this past week approved bills requiring every state public school to provide the opportunity to recite the pledge and every classroom to have a flag in it. The flag legislation already passed the Senate and goes to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature, and the measure relating to reciting the pledge will be taken up by the Senate.
Newcombe says his district will comply if the bills become law, but he wasn't exactly pledging allegiance to the lawmakers and the legislation for which they stand.
"Bottom line, I'm fed up with mandates — especially on stuff like this," Newcombe said. "With all of the issues facing us in our society, is this the most important thing we've got to deal with? I'm all for patriotism, but I guess my question is, 'Why are we spending time on this kind of stuff?'"