I am cognizant of the rule against political discussion and I am not wanting that for this thread. For a variety of reasons, including political and religious, I do not wish to make the pledge. It's been so long since I actually said the thing that I've only just now realized that I take objection to it. Last Thursday was my first day as a high school substitute teacher. It was just one of many curveballs when the intercom buzzed in my second period class and told everyone to stand and recite. The classroom flag was located in the back, so nobody noticed my lack of participation. On Friday, I had forgotten about the pledge and was yet again taken unawares. The flag, like me, was in the front of the class. I turned, faced the flag, and pretended to speak the words. Today, I was clever enough to remember the time for the pledge and positioned myself at the opposite end of the room when the time came. I have some concerns about my situation. First, I am concerned about the impact my not saying the pledge might have on the students. Will it have an impact on their regard for me and thus adversely affect my ability to teach? I hope one day to teach government, so would my displayed 'lack of patriotism' have a large impact on my ability to teach the subject? If I am asked about why I won't pledge my allegiance, should I explain my various objections or would explaining my religious, political, and philosophical stances be overstepping my authority as a teacher? I've attempted to hide my not saying it; would this be fair to those students who might not wish to say it either? Next, I am concerned about the impact it may have on my job security, or lack thereof. I've still got the new-sub smell and I want to do all I can to ensure I keep getting classes. Do any of you know how your administrators might react if it became known that you won't say the pledge? I'm already a bit of an odd duck. I teach in rural Oklahoma, I have long hair, and I "look like I'm 15" (at age 24). To help separate myself from the students, I've been showing up in slacks and a tie. The principal and male teachers seem to wear khakis and polos regularly, so I seem to be the most formally dressed guy there. I've not received a whole lot of guidance and I'm getting worried I'm that nail that's about to be hammered. This whole pledge thing is just one thing to add to the pile. Does anyone have any suggestions?