It's time to stop requiring students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school.

we only did it in elementary school

I can see what you are saying though

Is it any different than the speech you have to say when you join the armed forces or when you become a citizen?

Why should there be oath for anything? (Just wondering)

I was asked to say the pledge in elementary school only. I stood silently until I was asked by the teacher, a few times, to say the words. Then, I just moved my mouth. I found the whole affair really creepy & strange.

Years later, I saw a documentary about Germany just prior to WWII. Apparently, the SS took a pledge to Hitler rather than to the German nation. This was seen as a huge distinction - that this would somehow effect the decisions or priorities of the soldiers.

It struck me as weird, because the implication was that 1) the soldiers would remember the exact words of their oaths and 2) would take those words extremely literally and seriously.

Maybe these things are actually important to some people. Personally, I find it all dubious.

How did American schools cope with children who were not American citizens? Exchange students, for example.

Why to people want the Establishment to pay for their education, their healthcare, their unemployment, etc., and then complain when the Establishment wants something in return?

If you want your kids to be rebellious individualists, home-school them, or find a private school whose agenda you approve.

We the People are the Establishment and We the People is who pays for; education, healthcare, unemployment, etc.

Patriotism is not learned, or expressed, by rote memorization and mindless repetition.

CMC fnord!

I have had to sign many a “pledge”, for lack of a better word. The best ones come with a short explanation of why its so very important to keep the pledge. People have died, projects have failed, money has been wasted.

Many people deal with secret or private information. Anyone in any sort of business has client or account information. Literally the entire concept of the economy or government depends upon secrets being kept - boundaries being respected.

But, it’s still stupid to have a 6 yr old child pledge his/her life to a country. (or a religion for that matter)

Neither the country, nor the state, nor the government, nor its resources, nor its policies belong to “the establishment.” They belong to all of us collectively, and no one should be permitted to demand an oath for exercising our rights.

The law is clear. I’m far from convinced that all classroom teachers are clear.

For myself, in the first couple of weeks of school, I make sure to walk my third graders through what it means, and then to discuss the first amendment with them, and then to tell them that one of the cool effects of the first amendment is that they have the right not to say the pledge. After that, as long as a kid isn’t causing a disturbance, I make very little deal out of the pledge: when it comes on the intercom, I say, “Pledge, guys!” and them as wants to say it say it.

I stood and said it for basically all 12 years of my public school life, during grade school it was the whole nine yards with someone being picked to hold the flag and grasp the corner and the whole thing. If the purpose was indoctrination it failed; rarely have I thought highly of this country especially in broad terms. And that seems a common theme with many of the “kids” I went to school with. Like someone said upthread, in the end it didn’t mean more than some of the songs in music class or some of the other stuff we were put through.

It’s played through the PA now? :frowning: The best part was our teacher leading the class in reciting it. We did it through elementary school. I seem to recall the pledge being recited at a few school assemblies in junior high.

The Pledge of Allegiance never bothered me at all. It’s simply affirming this great country that we are blessed to live in. The US has its political problems and isn’t perfect but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

I think that children need a sense of community, and they will get it in all kinds of ways, ideally positive rather than negative ones. I liked saying the pledge of allegiance as a kid, it felt very grand to be a citizen of the United States. I think that within the context of education about the ideals this country was founded upon, it is a good thing.

As is clearly the case in many countries, it is often that the most patriotic people are the ones who hate their government the most fervently and will give their lives to destroy it. They will still honor their country’s flag and maybe even the principles espoused in their (violated) constitution, except in cases where a tyrant has introduced his own flag to replace the traditional one. It is the duty of the patriotic citizen to be constantly vigilant of the difference between the government and the founding principles of nationhood. Let Thomas Paine write the pledge, and see what happens.

I’m still angry, 35 years later, that I had to endure such nonsense every morning for 12 years. I see no good coming from such public display of faux patriotism.

The idea that just because it’s illegal to expel you means that it’s not required is a rather narrow definition of required.

Sure, the teacher tells you to stand up, place your hand over your heart and repeat after them, and will chastise or ostracize you if you don’t. However, if you take it to court you’ll win!

I mean students aren’t required to go to public school at all, so I guess you can’t label anything that’s done there as required, right?

So your solution is to pair it with even more dry, empty ritual? No, an active curriculum to instill national consciousness means high-quality history classes, that go into detail about just what makes America so great, and the things we got right, and (especially) the things we got wrong. At which point, who needs the Pledge?

Personally, whenever I’m in a classroom when it comes on the intercom, I stand and say it, except that I omit the “under God”. I don’t think any student has ever noticed (or at least, if they have, they haven’t asked about it), but if they did, I would tell them that I think that those words are wholly inappropriate for an official statement of our nation.

Heck with school. Most local government meetings around here start with the Pledge. Our local Board of Realtors begins their monthly meetings with it. Rotary Club starts with it. I understand Elks, Shriners and Lions do too. Can you imagine the uproar and ostracization that would follow if any board member suggested omitting it? It would be political and societal death.

Something in return is paying taxes or serving on a jury. It’s not taking a lame ass fucking oath. Are you at all familiar with the Bill of Rights?

I can dig that. Any old morning before lessons isn’t the time for a grand ritual, though.

Seriously, what kind of weak bullshit is that? A real patriot should only need to pledge once. And, of course, it would have to be voluntary.

I’d say that it SHOULD bother you, as it severely waters down what it means to pledge something. Maybe that’s why Americans in general don’t tend to pledge things for realsies these days.

We can get a sense of community by making a mailbox out of a shoe box and red construction paper and mandating that everyone distribute a valentine to each person in the class. Devaluing the meaning of pledging is entirely unnecessary.

Maybe the wise parent will instruct his (her) child to ritualistically renounce the Pledge every day upon returning home from school, so that re-pledging the next morning won’t be an exercise in redundancy. :smiley:

Maybe they should bring back the Bellamy Salute.