- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A bill that would require Missouri’s public schools recite the Pledge of Allegiance in English once a day has passed the House.

The Republican-controlled chamber on Thursday voted 118-30 in favor of the measure.

Missouri currently requires public schools to recite the pledge at least once a week. The bill follows a New York high school’s divisive decision to recite the pledge in Arabic as part of National Foreign Language Week.

Democrats criticized the English requirement as discriminatory, while Republicans said it promotes unity and is needed because English is Missouri’s official language.

The bill’s chance of passing is unclear.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey said Thursday he appreciates those who recite the pledge, but he’s not too concerned with what language is used to recite it.

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