State Sen. Allen defends proposed legislation requiring ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ to be played weekly in Alabama public schools
Last week, State Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) announced he was putting forth legislation that would require Alabama public schools to play the “Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States, at least once a week.
Incredibly, Allen has had a number of critics, one of whom claimed such a push “cheapens” the national anthem.
However, during an appearance on Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Allen defended the legislation. He pointed out that some children in public schools do not have the opportunity for exposure to the anthem.
“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.”
Allen dismissed the accusations that his bill is a political ploy and noted there are people that take a knee during the playing of the national anthem.
“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.”