Pledge of Allegiance

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Jerseygirlteach, Oct 11, 2010.

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  1. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Oct 14, 2010

    I don't say it when the kids ARE in the room.

    At this job, this year, we watch the announcements on TV. They say "Please rise for a moment of silence." Then they say "Please remain standing for the pledge to the flag." I have to say "I pledge allegiance..." although I suppose a kid could say it. Some of mine say it, some just stand, and some choose to remain seated. I stand but I do not put my hand on my heart.

    In DE, it was also the law for a teacher to lead the class in the pledge, but it was never a big deal because they said the whole thing over the announcements. The kids almost never said it along. Again, I would stand respectfully. Also at that school I usually didn't have a class in the morning, but if I was out and about in the hall, it was part of the school culture for everyone to freeze during the pledge if they were walking around. The one disciplinarian would always be in the hall telling people to wait. If I was back to my room with no kids I wouldn't stand.
     
  2. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Oct 15, 2010

    My students and I are required to stand in respect when reciting our pledges (American flag, Christian flag, and the Bible). I couldn't tell my students to stand and place their hands over their hearts without leading by example.
     
  3. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Oct 16, 2010

    In all honesty, one of the things that bothers me most is when people say that having students recite the pledge is taking away their rights. First off, if you really want to argue that, then what about all the other rights that are taken away when a student enters a school? Should the first amendment be used to protect a student that writes a note, without specific names but highly descriptive, about how much they hate another student? No.

    Secondly, and most important to me, is that we're one nation. We have our political, regional, religious and economic factions, but we're unit. Say what you will, but I will never not honor the country that has done so much for me and my family. Whether I'm alone, in a ball park stadium, or in my classroom, I will be reciting the pledge.

    And, in all honesty, I make ALL my students stand for the pledge. (Well, that's not entirely true since it's illegal and all that grand stuff, but I have yet to ask a student to stand up--they do it just by social cue. ) They don't have to recite the words, but they MUST be quiet and respectful (ie: not writing down hw).

    I don't think the pledge encourages blind faith. I think it encourages students to take pride in their nation--maybe not for it's present, but definitely for its past. We've accomplished great and monumental things in America. We need to honor that. We need to honor those that fought for us and are currently fighting for us.
     
  4. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Oct 16, 2010

    The "under God" phrase is school sponsored speech which establishes religion, which is against the First Amendment. We DO have to honor students' first amendment rights in school. There are only a few special instances (Lewd and vulgar and causing a substantial disruption) where you can legally take away a student's freedom of speech. But there are those same special instances outside of schools too.
     
  5. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Oct 16, 2010

    I say it every day. I always have kids in the room, but I'd still stand up and say it even if I were alone. I'm grateful every day to be an American.

    On a side note, the kid who says the Pledge over the announcements every day DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO SAY IT. She speaks too fast; she pauses in weird places and for too long. We usually end up standing & saying it again after announcements are over.

    Side note part B: Oops. I make every kid stand up. I know I can't require them to say it; I didn't realize I couldn't require them to stand. They're working on their agenda when announcements start, and I'll say "Everyone stand up!" because they're so intent on the agenda they'll keep working. Hmm. Suggestions?
     
  6. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Oct 16, 2010

    Okay-clarify for me: In our school we must have in our rooms, flag and "In God We Trust" poster-thingy. I have no problem having this in my room, but it was told to us that it was mandatory (nationwide). As to the pledge and flag - I stand, recite, etc. No, I can't require my kids to pledge, etc., but I can require respect - just as I would if the tables were reversed. To me, I am paying respect to those for whom the flag represent -- those past, present, and future that make it possible to live in the United States and to enjoy the freedoms that we have. One of which is the freedom to "agree to disagree." Yes, we have our negatives, but the positives far outweigh them. Where else could we voice our opinions as we do here? :peace:
     
  7. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Oct 16, 2010

    My kids are always in the room for pledge. This is not an issue with me.

    We do have morning prayer read over the intercom before classes begin, though, and I always stop what I am doing for this time regardless of who is or is not around. I would do the same for the pledge. I stand with my hand over my heart and sing at ball games even if there are people around me who are not doing the same.
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Oct 16, 2010

    Momma C, you were told that it was a national requirement to say the pledge and have an "In God We Trust" poster in your room? That is a fabrication by your district or school.
     
  9. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Oct 16, 2010

    Not necessarily Say the Pledge (observe, yes), but the "In God We Trust" - yes. I've never really taken the time to research it. :confused:
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Oct 16, 2010

    They may be state requirements, but neither (including the observation of the Pledge of Alligence) is a national requirement.
     
  11. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Oct 16, 2010

    You don't think pressuring little tiny kids (from an official perspective, as well as peer pressure from seeing all the other little kids doing it) to pledge themselves is not a violation of his/her rights in some form?

    I'm pretty certain that part of First Amendment rights protects you from pressure to act or think in a particular way. Now, I'm not trying to flame... I agree with you that America has done some great things in the past, and those things can/should be remembered. But I just don't agree that any "pledge" should be mandated by law. And truth be told, if it wasn't, I (as a teacher) probably wouldn't do it... at least not in the context that it is.

    Put it this way: do you see a problem with little kids in North Korea, reciting a pledge before school, pledging their loyalty to North Korea and the oppressive guy who currently runs that country?

    If you don't, for the same reasons that you would disagree with it happening in a "bad" country--it's the same thing here. Now, give me a pledge that has kids pledging themselves to their family, friends, community--that's a program I can get with!
     
  12. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Oct 16, 2010

    Freedom of Religion and operations at government facilities (especially public schools where children are legally compelled to be unless they can receive education elsewhere) is quite a legal issue. The best place to look to understand this issue is past Supreme Court rulings as they establish the legal precedence for application of the law.

    Here's a few select quotes from across the years which shed a lot of light on the subject....

    Everson v Board (1947):
    The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance.

    Lemon v Kurtzman (1971) a.k.a. "The Lemon Test":

    In the absence of precisely stated constitutional prohibitions, we must draw lines with reference to the three main evils against which the Establishment Clause was intended to afford protection: "sponsorship, financial support, and active involvement of the sovereign in religious activity.

    Good News Club v Milford Central School (2001):
    I don't have the quote, but the court ruled that a school may not exclude a religious club from using facilities in the school, after school hours, just because the club is religious in nature.


    Lee v Weisman (1992) (My favorite ruling.)
    This was whether or not a religious leader could lead a prayer at a public school graduation ceremony.

    The ruling was that prayers could NOT be offered even if they were offered in a non-sectarian in nature as they established endorsement of religion by referring to and thanking God. Here's part of the ruling:

    The principle that government may accommodate the free exercise of religion does not supersede the fundamental limitations imposed by the Establishment Clause. It is beyond dispute that, at a minimum, the Constitution guarantees that government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise

    I find this to be quite an entertaining ruling because the suit to stop the speaker and prayer was brought by a Christian and most of the money required to litigate the case all the way to the supreme court (very very expensive) was provided by Christian groups. You see, it was a Jewish rabbi who was going to give the prayer and these Christian groups couldn't tolerate religion in a public school when it wasn't their own religion.
     
  13. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Sep 24, 2011

    I think there were a few vehicle accidents and/or flightline incidents that resulted from airmen stopping their cars or military vehicles in the road to salute. I remember the first time (in basic training) I saw it, my first thought was it was an accident waiting to happen.
     
  14. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2011

    Well.. even though the topic seems to have veered off a bit, I'll still respond to the OP.

    If I were alone, I can't say that I would stand and say the pledge. I am not Christian, so I have to fight myself to say the "Under God" part of it. So alone, I probably wouldn't say the pledge at all.

    However, I am never alone when we do the pledge, so I grit my teeth and say it with my kids.

    I see people saying that making the kids stand in respect is illegal and that makes me curious because I was told, during student teaching, that you can make them stand but you can't make them say anything. All the teachers I know make their kids stand up, regardless if they say anything. I've always had my kids stand up on their own, but seeing that makes me wonder if we don't know something we should know...
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 25, 2011

    You can still say it without the "under god" part. I do it that way every day when I say it with my kids.
     
  16. Nathan6329

    Nathan6329 Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2011

    I am only a student now but when I become a teacher I will refuse to say the pledge and will tell my students they can do the same. It is their right, their freedom, and if the school board doesn't like that then they'll just have to fire me.
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 25, 2011

    How come?
     
  18. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Sep 25, 2011


    I just really don't want any parental hassle coming from it when my kids notice, and I have a few that have noticed with other teachers because they have said "Mrs. ____ never said God.. my mom didn't like it". I just have those kinds of parents. So I do it even though I don't like it.
     
  19. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Sep 25, 2011

    I just found out my school can't force kids to stand/say the pledge. I never force any of them to say it but I always ask them to stand as I think it shows respect-just like even though I am atheist, if I am in church for a wedding or funeral I stand because it is respectful but I don't say the prayers.

    I also omit the "under God" part from the pledge. There is one girl in my class who I can see from the corner of my eye who always seeks me out at that part (no matter where I am in the room) and I pretend I don't notice and keep my eyes on the flag. I wonder if she'll ever ask me about it.
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 25, 2011

    There are some kids who will notice that I omit the "under god" part. Most of them won't ever say anything, but every now and then I'll get a question about it. I just answer that I prefer not to say that part. It's a non-issue after that point.

    The fact is that there are many religious people who leave out the "under god" part, and many religious people who refuse to say the pledge in the first place. People who presume to deduce my religious leanings based on the pledge are making grand assumptions based on small details, and that's just silly.

    I'm not going to change who I am out of fear of students and parents who might decide that they don't like me leaving out the "under god" part. I do believe in the rest of the pledge, just not that part, so I will say the rest of it. People who don't like what I do are free to say the pledge a little louder to cover up my omission.
     
  21. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Sep 25, 2011

    While I understand your hesitancy, I find it sad and unfortunate that you feel that way.

    I do notice that a child saying "my mom didn't like it." makes an interesting omission -- it says nothing of what the child thinks (and possibly implies they think differently?).
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sep 25, 2011

    I imagine the child doesn't have an independent opinion simply because the differences of opinion about this topic are beyond most children's ability to grasp.
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 25, 2011

    Just curious...are there other traditional responsibilities of teachers or subject areas to which you have objections?
     
  24. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Sep 25, 2011

    I say the pledge because I love my country, and I love what the statement represents. It reminds me each day that my job is to make sure students know they are guaranteed and entitled to liberty and justice in their lives. I don't say the "under God" part because it has no meaning to me. That doesn't take away from the rest of the pledge.
     
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