Delaware County School Drops Post-Pledge ‘God Bless America'

The Freedom for Religion Foundation claimed that Sabold Elementary School principal Peter Brigg violated the U.S. Constitution's prohibition of government sponsoring religious messages by saying 'God bless America' after the Pledge of Allegiance

A Delaware County, Pennsylvania, school principal will no longer say "God bless America" after leading students in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Peter Brigg's practice at Sabold Elementary School in Springfield led at least one parent to complain to the Freedom for Religion Foundation, whose attorney contacted the district. The group claimed it violated the U.S. Constitution's prohibition of government sponsoring religious messages.

The district decided to cease the practice after consulting with its lawyer. In a statement, the district says it is not prohibiting students from reciting "God bless America" after the pledge on their own.

"To be clear, the District has not altered the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and has not prohibited students from deciding on their own, as their own form of self-expression, whether or not to state the words, 'God Bless America' (or any other appropriate form of self-expression) upon completing the Pledge of Allegiance," the Springfield School District said. 

The Freedom for Religion Foundation says "young elementary school children don't need to be coerced into affirming God's name every morning."

"We understand that this is an important topic for many of our constituents; however, please understand that the district does not make the law. We follow it," the district said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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