Delaware County school stops reciting words 'God Bless America' due to complaint

SPRINGFIELD, Pa. (WPVI) -- A Delaware County school will no longer recite the words "God Bless America" because of an attorney's complaint.

Sabold Elementary School in Springfield used to recite the words over the loudspeaker after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

An attorney who contacted the school said that violated the law. The district said it stopped the practice to protect it from litigation.

A statement from Springfield School District read, in part, "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 statement continues, "Please understand that the District does not make the law. We follow it."

The following is the complete statement released by the Springfield School District:

An attorney recently contacted Springfield School District and asserted on behalf of his client that Sabold Elementary School administration's practice of publicly reciting the words, "God Bless America" over the loud speaker immediately after the public recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance violated the law.

In accordance with District protocol, this complaint was forwarded to our District Solicitor's Office. Based upon the Solicitor's legal research and recommendation, we ceased this practice. Continuation of any practices that may be unlawful would only expose the District to litigation, which the local taxpayers would have to financially support.

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.

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.

Thank you for your understanding.

The Springfield School District
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