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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 15, 2017 12:25 PM
From: Representative Kathy L. Rapp
To: All House members
Subject: Excused Absence for Playing Taps
I plan, in the near future, to introduce legislation to allow public schools to excuse a student from school for the purpose of playing "Taps" during military honors funerals for deceased veterans.

Given the aging population of our World War II, Korean, and Vietnam veterans in particular, there are several thousand military veteran deaths per year in Pennsylvania. Often there are not enough military buglers available to attend every funeral to play "Taps." As a result, many veterans receive an audio recording of this bugle call. However, our state is home to many talented student musicians who would be able to render this service should they be able to obtain permission from school to attend these funerals which often take place during the school day.

At least five states, including Illinois, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Texas, have either statutes or regulations that permit students to be excused from school for playing "Taps" at a military honors funeral. My proposal would clarify that public schools in Pennsylvania are permitted to excuse a student from school for this noble purpose.

I hope you will join me in supporting our students' efforts to honor and give back to our veterans by cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1478