Pennsylvania school stops traditional ‘God Bless America’ after pledge due to parent complaint

SPRINGFIELD, Pa. (KYW/CNN) - An elementary school principal in Pennsylvania will no longer say “God Bless America” after the Pledge of Allegiance each morning, following a parent’s complaint to a religion watchdog group.

The Springfield School District decided the elementary school principal would no longer say “God Bless America" every morning after leading students in the pledge. (Source: KYW/CNN)

Until recently, it was tradition for the principal at Sabold Elementary School in Springfield, PA, to say “God Bless America” over the public address system after leading students in the pledge.

However, lawyers got involved when a parent complained to a religion watchdog group, and the Springfield School District decided the principal would no longer say “God Bless America.”

“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,” read a statement to parents.

The reaction to the district’s decision has been mixed.

"I’m glad that our principal made the choice that he made by not saying it over the loudspeaker. I think children are very impressionable,” parent Larisa Schreiber said.

Other parents believe the principal should still be able to say “God Bless America.”

“Every president has said ‘God Bless America.’ It’s the right thing to do,” parent Suzanne Hoffman said. “I try to instill in my kids every day the sense of unity and community and patriotism, and that’s what I’ll continue to do with my kids. They will continue to say ‘God Bless America.'”

The school will not stop students from continuing to say “God Bless America,” if they wish to do so.

The district says the potential cost of a legal battle played a part in their decision to stop the tradition.

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