Friday, November 14, 2008

To Pledge or Not To Pledge

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.

Remember saying the Pledge of Allegiance before starting school classes? I do. As a "military brat" I attended a number of different schools, as my Dad was transferred from assignment to assignment. I most of the schools I attended, we said the Pledge before starting school. At one school, we said it outside in front of the school's flag pole after "lining up" to enter the classrooms. At another school, we said it in the classroom during the morning announcements. At still another school, we recited the Pledge in the classroom with a student leading the effort. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance was an essential part of the start of school, at least until I entered High School.

Well, it seems that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance has become a divisive issue in the small town of Woodbury, Vermont. It seems one parent, a retired Marine, circulated petitions asking that school officials restart the practice of reciting the Pledge before school each day. School officials agreed that the Pledge should be re instituted, but in an effort not to "isolate children in the classroom" they instituted a process where a 6th grader would gather any kids who wanted to say the Pledge and take them to a second-floor gym where they would say the Pledge. That practice didn't sit well with parents who wanted the Pledge, because the kids were asked to give up some of their free time and those who wanted to say the Pledge could be singled out just as easily as those who didn't want to say the Pledge. So the school started a new process. They had all the students (about 55) and participating teachers gather in the school foyer to say the Pledge before school started. The idea being that if there was a large crowd, those who didn't want to say the Pledge wouldn't be as noticeable. Of course, that didn't sit well with the "anti-pledge" crowd. After the Pledge ceremony, about 10 adults surrounded the school board president and had "heated discussions" about saying the Pledge in school. Check out the news story here.

Crazy, isn't it. What's wrong with reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school? Yes, it references God, as in "one Nation under." So what! That's not advocating religion of one type or another. So a kid's politics may somehow be different from the norm; but does that mean that there is no allegiance to the Nation? It's crazy! I think I agree with the retired Marine-Major who started the Pledge petitions in the first place. He said, "There's no way a heckler's veto should abridge the constitutional rights of the majority." Absolutely right, Major, absolutely right!


Ky Woman said...

Isn't it sad how far "unpatriotic" citizens take this? When I was in school, saying the Pledge of Allegiance was our morning ritual every day

No wonder the last few generations have no respect for anything or anyone!

Makes me mad as hell...

Grama36 said...

It is SAD that in this country that we let a minority dictate what the rest of us should do..I agree with the marine father that the pledge should be recited every morning...When I was in school we said the pledge and OH we also had a prayer at the begining of every school day...That is one of the sad things in this country we have let the athiests, and protesters take God out of everything..I just read part of the Constitution that states that there shall be no national (or Mandated religion) Not that there should be no reference to God at all in all public places and things..