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FAQs for Former Employees, Substitutes & Temporary Employees

Do all schools say the Pledge of Allegiance each day?

In accordance with the Code of Laws of South Carolina, Chapter 1 General Provisions, Article 1, Section 455, all public school students say the Pledge of Allegiance each day at a designated time. For your information, 59-1-455 appears below:

Time for pledge of allegiance required

Beginning with the 1991-92 school year, all public school students, commencing with grades kindergarten through and including high school, shall during the course of each school day’s activities at a specific time which must be designated by the local school say the Pledge of Allegiance as follows:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Any person not wishing to say the “Pledge of Allegiance” or otherwise participate in saying the “Pledge of Allegiance” is exempt from participation and may not be penalized for failing to participate.

A person who does not wish to participate may leave the classroom, may remain in his seat, or may express his non-participation in any form which does not materially infringe upon the rights of other persons or disrupt school activities.

Does the district observe state holidays?

School districts are not considered state agencies.

However, school district employees do get to participate in the state retirement system and insurance system, which makes some people think of them as state employees. Still, school district employees do not accrue leave in the same way that state employees do, etc.

Holidays are another area in which there is a difference. According to Dale Stuckey, one of the South Carolina Department of Education’s attorneys, the only holiday that a public school is required to be closed is on General Election Day. From the Code of Laws of South Carolina SECTION 59-1-370, SECTION 53-5-20.: “Closing of educational institutions on general election day. All State-supported colleges and universities, technical education centers and public schools shall be closed general election day in November of each even-numbered year. This day shall not be considered as one of the regular school days for the year for public schools.”

The Code of Laws of South Carolina SECTION 53-5-10 lists the holidays that state employees are required to observe. (Remember school districts are not legally required to observe these same holidays.)

  • The first day of January — New Year’s Day
  • The third Monday of January — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • The third Monday in February — George Washington’s birthday/President’s Day
  • The tenth day of May — Confederate Memorial Day
  • The last Monday of May — National Memorial Day
  • The fourth day of July — Independence Day
  • The first Monday in September — Labor Day
  • The eleventh day of November — Veterans Day
  • National Thanksgiving Day and the day after
  • The twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth days of December (Governor may also declare Christmas Eve a holiday for state government employees.)

This law goes on to state that public colleges, universities and technical colleges are not legally required to observe all these state holidays. (The rationale: It makes it hard to schedule all the hours needed to meet requirements for hours of instruction per course, etc.)