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Mass. principal says kids can opt out of Pledge

December 23, 2010

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BROOKLINE, Mass.—The principal of a Brookline school has included what appears to be a permission slip in a letter to parents announcing that the school will begin weekly recitals of the Pledge of Allegiance.

The letter sent Monday by Gerardo Martinez, principal of The Edward Devotion School, explains that Massachusetts law requires classrooms to display the American flag and be led in a recital of the pledge.

But Martinez also said in the letter that no student or teacher would be mandated to recite the pledge. A tear-off sheet asks parents to indicate whether their child will or will not participate.

Martinez later sent a clarification, saying he did not intend the letter as a permission slip but as a way to encourage parents to discuss the history and significance of the pledge with their children.

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