Lawmaker shelves Declaration of Independence in schools bill
BATON ROUGE - A Denham Springs lawmaker shelved her bill requiring Louisiana public school students to recite the Declaration of Independence daily, under pressure from her African-American colleagues.
Republican Rep. Valarie Hodges pulled her bill from House debate Wednesday before lawmakers could vote on the proposal. The measure would have required public school students in fourth through sixth grade to recite a passage from the document.
Opposing lawmakers questioned whether the requirement would be unfair.
Reps. Barbara Norton, a Shreveport Democrat, and Pat Smith, a Baton Rouge Democrat, told Hodges that children shouldn't have to recite words written at a time when slavery was prevalent, reading the document was used to bar African-Americans from voting at polling places and equality wasn't extended to all people.