State Sen. Gerald Allen Defends Bill Requiring K-12 Schools to Play the Star-Spangled Banner Weekly

Dakota Layton | January 13, 2020

During an appearance on “The Jeff Poor Show,” State Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) defended his proposed bill, SB 13, that would require Alabama K-12 schools to play the Star Spangled Banner at least once a week and also at every school-sanctioned sports event.

“One of the things that bothered me and was really troubling for quite some time — so many children in K-12, they’re not involved in after-school activities, they don’t have the opportunity to go to functions after school — and they miss hearing and seeing a lot of things. One of those things is the national anthem. That’s one thing that I really felt like needed to be done. That’s important. It really is important to me.”

“I’m in the fourth quarter of my life,” Allen explained. “I’ve got grandchildren just like you and many of your listeners. And one thing we’ve got to do is pass the torch. We want to make sure that everyone understands regardless of where they are, who they are, whatever — they just need to know and understand that this is our country. This is our great country that has been given to us by so many people that had preceded us. It’s important. It really is.”

“My intention was to make sure that every child in our public schools will come to learn and come to know and take great pride in this great country,” he added. “That’s hearing at least once a week the national anthem played at school. The beauty of that is the band could play it at least once a week, or the choir director could line up students in their classes to pass the test of singing the national anthem to the student body. What a beautiful thing that would be. So yes, it’s important, but this is not a political game issue at all.”

“It’s important for us to do this,” he added. “It baffles my mind to know that there are individuals in this great country that will take a knee on the national anthem, and that is troubling to me.”

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