The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


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BVNW Speaks

Blue Valley high schools align with Kansas Board of Education policy requiring “patriotic exercises”

Every Kansas school is required to have its students regularly practice patriotic exercises, according to Kansas Statute 72-5308.
Lila Vancrum
Beginning Friday, the Pledge of Allegiance will be recited every morning.

BVNW students will begin reciting the Pledge of Allegiance beginning Friday. 

Kansas Statute 72-5308 requires public schools to provide a program for “patriotic exercises.” The statute lists the regular recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance as a patriotic exercise. 

Principal Dr. David Sharp said BVNW students and staff will begin reciting the Pledge of Allegiance daily. 

“We will do it right at the start of first or second hour,” Sharp said. 

After meeting with the Blue Valley department chairs Monday, Sharp said there will not be any formal communication to parents or to the school about this change before Friday. The department chairs communicated the change to their departments.

“It’s more organic from the building,” Sharp said. 

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1943’s West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that students cannot be compelled to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Students who choose to not participate will not be punished nor forced to recite it.

“There are no repercussions or anything. They don’t have to participate,” Sharp said. “You can’t say anything to them. You can’t ask them to stand. You can’t force anybody to stand or make commentary to anything. That’s just a choice that they have.” 

Senior Guna Thatipelli shared how he views the statute as a potential hindrance to the schedule of the school day.  

“It’s not a problem about the Pledge of Allegiance specifically. It’s more that every day, in a lot of my classes, we start at the bell and we go almost to the end,” Thatipelli said. “If it’s going to be playing over the intercom, it’s just going to be honestly wasteful.”

Sharp said reciting the Pledge will take between 20-25 seconds.

Additionally, Thatipelli said he worried practicing the act daily would give the idea that students cannot express their own feelings about America without judgment. 

“I think that Kansas, making it commonplace, does sound like an interesting message because it seems that like it can give a message to kids that we can’t be critical of our own country, which I think is very bad,” Thatipelli said.

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About the Contributors
Jeny Jithesh
Jeny Jithesh, Online Editor
Jeny Jithesh is a senior and Online Editor of “The Express” and BVNWnews. This is her second year on staff as a writer. Outside of newspaper, Jeny is serving as the President of FBLA and KAY Club and participates in Student Government, NHS, NEHS, and Quill & Scroll. In her free time, Jeny loves going on walks with her parents, hanging out with friends, painting, and traveling. She is looking forward to contributing to BVNWNews as an editor and writer!
Lexi Jones
Lexi Jones, Editor-In-Chief
Lexington is a second year writer for “The Express.” and is currently serving as the Editor-In-Chief. Outside of room 902, Lexington actively participates in NHS, Quill & Scroll and BVNW Ambassadors. She is currently serving as President for KAY Club, and the Vice President of Community Service for DECA and FBLA. In her free time, Lexington enjoys going out to eat with her friends and family, sleeping in and listening to music. Lexington is thrilled to continue working with the publication, and is looking forward to her senior year!
Lila Vancrum
Lila Vancrum, Editor-In-Chief
​​Lila Vancrum is a senior and Editor-In-Chief for “The Express.” This is her third year on staff, previously serving as a photographer and photo editor. Outside of newspaper, Lila is involved in girl’s soccer, KAY Club, Team Up for St. Jude’s, NHS and Quill & Scroll. In her free time she enjoys going out to eat, hanging out with friends and binging TV shows, her favorites include “One Tree Hill” and “Pretty Little Liars.” Lila is excited to take on the role of being an Editor-In-Chief and hopes to improve the photography for stories and social media. 

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