Arizona bill would penalize schools for not displaying the U.S. flag, Constitution

By Bridget Dowd
Published: Friday, February 3, 2023 - 3:25pm

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U.S. and Arizona flag
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
U.S. and Arizona flags.

On Thursday, the Arizona Senate Education Committee advanced a bill that would penalize schools for not displaying the U.S. flag, Constitution and Bill of Rights. 

School districts and charter schools are required by law to display those items and set aside time for students to recite the pledge of allegiance.

Senate Bill 1111 would fine them up to $1,000 for not doing so. Elijah Watson graduated last year from a Phoenix high school and testified against the bill. 

“While it is absolutely important to show respect to our nation and its laws, I do not share the sentiment that imposing a civil penalty on schools for not following these requirements is the appropriate way to do so," he said. "Schools already have a wide array of expenses and forcing them to incur any additional penalties will only add to their financial burden.”

He added that those financial concerns will be even more severe if lawmakers don’t lift the state’s school spending limit.

Democratic Sen. Catherine Miranda voted against it the bill.

“I believe that there’s limited issues," she said. "I don’t even think they exist to tell you the truth, but if anything, it's a limited issue that can easily be remedied.”

Lawmakers advanced the bill on a party line vote.

Politics Education