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POLL: Does the Pledge Belong in Our Schools?

Why or why not? Take our poll or let us know in the comments section below.

 

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.

Thirty-one words. That's less than what a Journalism 101 professor will allow a freshman writer to use in a lede. But, apparently, it's plenty to cause a stir among students, parents, officials and educators. 

Recently, in nearby communities like and , there have been widely publicized debates about the merits of saying the "Pledge of Allegiance" in the public schools.

Now, we're not saying that's happening here. Although, judging by , it could.

According to the students and school administrators interviewed for the story, Lexington Public Schools are not all abiding by Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 71, Section 69 -- the law cited by School Committee Chairwoman Mary Ann Stewart when contacted by Patch for this story -- which holds that public school teachers should lead their students in group recitaitons of the pledge at the start of the first class of each school day.

Anyone who has ever or attended a thoughtful in Lexington has seen this town show that it's proud of where it came from, proud to be American.

But when it comes to saying the pledge in schools, some in town have questioned whether it's respectful to the non-American families in town. And that's not even getting into the whole "under God" issue...

It should be noted that, while the MGL requires that the pledge is said every day in public schools, the Supreme Court ruled in 1943 that school children cannot be forced to recite it.

So, with that in mind, we want to know, Do you think the Pledge of Allegiance should be said in all of the Lexington Public Schools? Why or why not? Take our poll or let us know in the comments section below.

Audra Myerberg January 09, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Love this debate Patrick. I dont believe it "needs" to be said at school. My daughter has no idea what she is saying and she said school didnt take the small amount of time it would have needed to explain it to her. Fly the flag, sing your songs but dont make kids say something they dont even understand. Looking forward to seeing what others say.
Sheila January 09, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Shouldn't really be a debate...citizenship is exemplified by the POA..I was amazed to learn that it wasn't a daily happening. Children learn lyrics to rap songs very quickly, I don't think they'd have any difficulty with the POA.
Julie Pettersen January 10, 2012 at 12:16 AM
As a kindergarten teacher I absolutely think children should be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance daily. I explain to my students what it means and we read and discuss a picture book that explains each sentence of the pledge. We talk about our country's flag and what it symbolizes. We also sing a patriotic song. Men and women have given up their lives for our freedom. We can and should take 5 minutes out of our day to reflect upon how fortunate we are. The fact that it's even debated frankly, disgusts me.
Lisa Boehm January 10, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Reciting the Pledge reinforces that we are proud to be part of a free nation. "...with liberty and justice for all" -- what a wonderful message for us to remember and to share with others visitng our country. Might be worth revisiting the meaning of the Pledge when children get older and more mature.
Hifi January 11, 2012 at 01:39 AM
No, lip-service is exemplified by the POA. Actual citizenship requires civic knowledge, involvement, and action. These kids are too young to know what they are saying, let alone decide that the nation they happened to be born in is the one they should swear all allegiance to. How about we issue all the students flag pins? Then they can show how patriotic they are all day, just like the presidential candidates.
Hifi January 11, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Please, the Pledge has never been intended to honor soldiers and war. Yet, we hear this all the time. Where do you people get this from? BTW, what does robotic government-mandated recitation of the Pledge have to do with 5 minutes a day of reflection? Nothing like beating it to death everyday to ensure it is said without a single thought.
Hifi January 11, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Enough reasons here for anyone, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist to have the Pledge of Allegiance removed from public schools: 1. Meaning lost in endless repetition, no explanation given, no history provided. 2. Comprises an ideological viewpoint that is forced on little kids by authorities to whom they are dependent. 3. The two above, taken together, is the definition of brainwashing. 4. The absurdity of having to repeat a pledge daily that apparently is only good for 24 hours. 5. The conforming routine of it, which makes you feel like a brain-dead robot sheep as opposed to a citizen of a free country who enjoys individual liberty. 6. Subordinates the people to the government, which we are told on good authority was created by us, with allegiance to us, not us to it. 7. Concocted by a company that sold flags as part of a plan to compel schools to buy more flags while instilling socialist-style nationalism in American children. 8. Exalts nationalism over federalism contrary to the basic principles of our Republic. Subsuming states and individual rights to central government is a necessary pre-requisite for a centralized, socialist government to gain traction. This was an explicit goal of Francis Bellamy, the socialist author of the PofA. Continued below...
Hifi January 11, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Continued from above... 9. Encourages jingoism. Antagonistic tribalism. No other countries have their citizens swear a loyalty oath to their government (except Mexico and the Philippines, mimicking the U.S). 10. Unsavory connection with Nazis. The Pledge originally featured the Nazi-style salute. In fact, Hitler got it from the Italian fascists who much admired, that's right, kids in America doing it while saying the Pledge. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellamy_salute (Man, if that doesn't give you chills) 11. Is patriotic lip-service in place of, even at the expense of, actual civic engagement and action. (Symbolic patriotism) 12. Is uncritical patriotism at the expense of maintaining oversight over government. (Blind patriotism) 13. Considered by many Christians idolatry, taking the name of God in vain, swearing oaths, serving two masters. 14. Divides the nation (and the classroom) along religious lines. Only those represented by the Judeo-Christian "God" need apply as patriots (Ironic that "under God", comes right before "indivisible.") 15. Is hypocritical on the part of adults, bullying little kids into doing something that adults themselves don't do. (You say the Pledge every day, do you, and on a government mandated schedule?) 16. And last, but not least, pledging allegiance to a flag is just stupid.
Beth January 11, 2012 at 12:57 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance
Sheila January 13, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Easy to see why Hifi doesn't sign in with a proper name. Fortunate for him he lives in a country that does Pledge Allegiance to a Republic (which the flag represents...we don't pledge to a flag). Many other places of residence may not look kindly on his free speech.

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