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A federal appeals court has upheld a New Hampshire law that requires schools to provide time for students to voluntarily recite the Pledge of Allegiance. It was the second such ruling this year, following a case in California.
The New Hampshire law requires schools to set aside time for teachers to lead the pledge, but students are not required to recite it. A mother and father, who describe themselves as atheist and agnostic, sued, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, in Boston, ruled last month that the law does not violate the First Amendment’s prohibition against a government establishment of religion or other provisions of the U.S. Constitution.
The statute was defended not only by the state of New Hampshire but also by the U.S. Department of Justice, which sought to defend acts of Congress that added under God to the pledge in 1954 and reaffirmed that version of the pledge in 2002.
A version of this article appeared in the December 01, 2010 edition of Education Week as Pledge of Allegiance Law Passes Federal Court Muster