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Pledge Of Allegiance In Spanish At California Schools Sparks Heated Debate (VIDEO) (POLL)

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 12/12/11 11:59 AM ET Updated: 12/14/11 03:21 PM ET

For elementary schoolers in California's Lamont School District, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance everyday is a bilingual task, KGET-TV reports.

For the city, which is 97 percent Hispanic, doing so has been a tradition since 2002, but not everyone has been happy about it.

"One of the issues with it being in Spanish is that not everyone got a chance to voice their opinion doing it that way," teacher Barry Champagne told NBC affiliate KGET-TV. "Every time it was brought up for discussion, it was set aside and we never got a chance to vote for it or even discuss it any further."

Fred Molina, principal of Alicante School, told the station that it's an important way to include all cultures.

"I think you offer a great way for students to feel included, and it's the Pledge of Allegiance, no greater honor than to be able to say the Pledge of Allegiance in a second language," Molina told KGET-TV.

Here's the Pledge in Spanish, courtesy of Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed's website:

"Yo prometo lealtad a la bandera / de los estados Unidos de America, / y a la Republica que representa, / una Nacion bajo Dios, / entera, / con libertad y justicia para todos."

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Last month the Michigan state Senate passed a bill that requires every public school student in the state to recite the pledge of allegiance every day before class.

According to the Grand Rapids Press, Michigan was one of seven states in the U.S. that does not mandate the pledge's recitation in schools.

Republican Sen. Roger Kahn introduced the bill, and told the Grand Rapids Press that the tradition honors the country's history.

"Saying the pledge is a reminder of the sacrifices made by so many Americans over the generations."