***This was one of the most popular stories of 2021 at The Iowa Standard. During this time of year, when things slow down, we like revisiting some of the most popular stories from the year.***
Nick Covington is a high school social studies teacher in the Ankeny School District. According to Digital Pedagogy Lab, he “promotes progressive education across the board in his classroom — and is the creative director of Human Restoration Project.”
Covington was one of many Iowa teachers triggered that schools could no longer require students and staff to wear face coverings.
“If you’ve got any connection to Iowa schools, you’re waking up this morning to a new set of rules with 2 weeks to go in the school year where, in the name of ‘freedom,’ masks are now optional and the pledge of allegiance is mandatory.”
He added “usually ‘in the dead of night’ is how you describe an underhanded scheme, but it’s just standard operating procedure for the modern Iowa GOP.”
Despite the new law requiring the board of directors of each public school district to administer the Pledge of Allegiance in grades 1-12 each day, Covington suggested resistance.
“Legally, the state can’t compel you to do it. Personally, I refuse to take a religious oath, and I don’t believe others should be forced to do so either.”
Covington has expressed plenty of disdain for Republicans, Gov. Kim Reynolds and President Donald J. Trump.