Barack Obama ended his State of the Union speech Tuesday saying "God bless America" – but an elementary school in New Jersey will no longer allow its children to say the same phrase after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Another school has surrendered to the threat of an ACLU lawsuit. Students at Glenview Elementary School used to start the day by concluding the Pledge with the words "God bless America," in remembrance of the victims of September 11, 2001. But Hiram Sasser of the Liberty Institute says the ACLU threatened school officials by stating that that's unconstitutional.
"This is a ridiculous threat by the ACLU – and it's unfortunate the school district has been put in this position," Sasser tells OneNewsNow. "But clearly, the kids saying 'God bless America' voluntarily after the Pledge of Allegiance is perfectly constitutional."
According to the attorney, school officials in New York recently wrestled with a similar situation and came up with a different conclusion.
"The State of New York concluded with a legal opinion that yes, it is perfectly constitutional, that singing 'God Bless America' is just fine," he explains, adding that the three words constitute "sort of a unique historical phrase."
Sasser says it's not uncommon that smaller school districts back down when the ACLU threatens them with lawsuits that could cost thousands of dollars.