Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by TheGr8Catsby, Jul 6, 2014.
Jul 10, 2014
Same here. If a parent requests, then I'll oblige. Until then, no.
LOL. It's not in the curriculum, so no.
Aug 5, 2014
I teach second grade. In our school, we say the Pledge with school-wide morning announcements. I have had a few students in the past who have refused for religious reasons, and that has been fine with me. They have either sat or stood silently while the class recites. Whether they participate or not should be left to the parents to discuss with them. Toward the end of the year, during my Memorial Day lesson, I teach the students about the meaning of each section of the Pledge. Students who refuse to say the Pledge are excused from this lesson without consequences, as well as the unit on American symbols.
We do the pledge and sing some patriotic songs. Parents know about the activities. No one has opted out yet.
I consider the activities related to life skills. Some of my students have disabilities that impact their participation but they still need to be appropriate. We sing the National Anthem for that reason. We've spent time on the history of the pledge and the song.
I'm not sure I agree with that. I think it's still important for those kiddos to know what exactly the pledge is saying, if only so that them and their parents can talk about exactly why they find it religiously objectionable.
Exempting students from these lessons is a school-system policy. Ultimately, it is up to the parents whether their child stays in my class or is excused, but I must notify parents in advance and get their decision before I can begin the unit.
No. If a student wants to not say the pledge for religious or other reasons, they or a parent lets me know. (This is the way I have handled it at a public school and at a private school.) Then if they let me know, I honor the request. Since my students are rather young (5th grade), I won't exempt the child without talking to the parents first.
Why would you not teach American Symbols?
I don't understand this either.
Some religions, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, believe that the Pledge and other American symbols is idol worship. In my thirteen year career, this has only been an issue with three students. These students also do not participate in birthdays or class celebrations.
Aug 6, 2014
I agree with the others that this is a bit of an odd policy and not required by the law. Kids can still believe that saying the pledge is idol worship even though they learn what the pledge means.
Of course, you should still follow that procedure since it's system policy (and the policy isn't illegal, just odd).
Sep 20, 2014
Wow, I was actually just reading this thread with the intention of getting additional perspectives and not responding until I read someone at the beginning saying that they tell their parents on them for not saying the pledge. "You don't have to say the pledge, but I'm gonna tell your parents so they'll force you." How nice of a teacher that person is. FML!
The age/maturity of the student and the standards of the community surely come into play here.
If a first grader isn't saying the pledge, it could make sense to check in with the parents in case there are other issues - classroom celebrations and the like - that haven't surfaced yet but need to be addressed properly. Middle-school students, in contrast, might be slightly better situated to advocate for themselves as regards the additional issues, and a classroom ought to be a safe place for a student to begin to individuate politically.
The thing is, though, that the symbols and rituals of patriotism can be amazingly hot buttons in some communities or at some times. I've witnessed this with a much less hot button: student government. A high-school principal was practically tarred and feathered (and certainly not invited back for a second year) after the student-body president - who, to be sure, had a bit of a reputation - got the students to vote to experiment with collapsing the student senate and legislature into one body and calling it something other than "senate", "legislature", or "congress". It sounds like nothing in retrospect, and it mostly was... until two or three parents got wind of the matter and started demanding that the principal overrule the election results and remove the kid from office. When the P declined to do either, they launched a campaign against him that eventually made nationwide news. I don't know whether he left voluntarily or whether the school board pushed him out, but either way it was not at all pretty to watch.
In any case, principles are still principles when they're not being flaunted in the faces of those who believe otherwise. Teaching kids in public school not to salute the flag in the absence of either curricular cause or a student raising the question strikes me as flaunting.
How many of you knew as children that you didn't have to say the pledge if you didn't want to? Isn't it okay just to say that if students don't want to say the pledge, they can just sit or stand quietly? Why are people so insistent on keeping kids blind from the facts? So what if the kids know the pledge is optional and that historically changes were made? If they appreciate the pledge and are proud to say it, why should it matter? Wouldn't parents rather their kids say the pledge because they want to and not because they have to? Why do parents want their kids to be withheld the information of the 1943 Supreme Court ruling? Do parents want their kids to be ignorant and kept from learning history just because it doesn't help make their point? I'm seriously asking. I'm not being a jerk.
To make a long story short... there are some fights I don't consider worth fighting. Could I engage my third graders in a discussion about the pledge, inform them of their rights, etc? Sure. Would it be worth the mountain of backlash, or even worth just the loss of class-time needed to have such a discussion? Nope. Nope, nope, nope.
Also, I knew about my rights as a kid. I also knew about my dad's 20 years of military service, my (paternal) grandfather's service in WWII, my (maternal) grandfather's service in Korea, and three great-grandfathers' service in WWI. So...
See, that doesn't answer the question. Say it wasn't a teacher, but the kids knew the facts from reading a website, or another student repeated what their parents told them. Are parents upset at their kids being told facts from their teachers that they didn't want them to have to hear, or are they upset just because their kids know facts that they don't want them to know?
Would you also consider it your responsibility to save the poor children from the abuse of being lied to about Santa?
This is seriously getting ridiculous. You have some gall to keep bringing this debate back up when it's been shut down by moderators numerous times. All you're doing is arguing in circles and not getting answers you like, wasting people's time.
Long story short... stirring the pot. I could go into my class on Monday and tell my kids a lot of perfectly true things that would also get me into a lot of hot water. Third graders aren't really old enough to understand the pledge, and probably shouldn't be "made" to say it, but they also aren't old enough to understand the social implications of refusing to say it.
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