Parents upset after Sabold Elementary School drops 'God Bless America'

SPRINGFIELD, Pa. (WPVI) -- A choice had to be made at Sabold Elementary of the Springfield School District: keep saying God Bless America over the loudspeaker or most likely go to court.

It was a battle they chose not to fight but it was one Springfield resident Theresa Polegato wishes they did.

"We're losing a lot of our rights too. People who believe in God," said Polegato.

There are so many opinions about this between Sabold parents, many for and many against.

Suzanne Hoffman's two children go to the school.

"I try to instill in my kids a sense of unity and community and patriotism. That's what I'll continue to do with my kids," said Hoffman.

Lirisa Schreiber's daughter goes to the school.

"I think it's the best move. There are people that are upset by it and there are people who don't believe in God," she said.

Here's what happened.

Each day the school recites the Pledge of Allegiance.

Then immediately afterwards, in unison and over the loudspeaker, they would then say three words: "God Bless America."

But there was at least one unhappy parent and they called the Freedom from Religion Foundation based in Wisconsin.

Their attorney threatened a lawsuit.Part of their argument was, "The repeated recitation of a religious message in the school setting violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment."

Immediately the Springfield School District sought their counsel.

They declined speaking with Action News on camera Wednesday but also released a statement that says, "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."

The district is still giving the students the option to express themselves after the pledge and say God Bless America. It's the administration that won't be a part of it.
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