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Stand For The Flag Or Else?

Does your child have to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in school? The answer isn’t all that complex. It is no. You see in the United States, Americans have this thing called freedom. Freedom of choice is the foundation of democracy. But just this week an 11-year-old in Florida was arrested for standing up for his rights. He told the substitute teacher that the flag was racist.

The question is why must one pledge allegiance in the land of the free? You do not. The school district where the young boy was arrested even stated that children do not have to stand for the pledge. They absolutely do not have to stand, if they do not want to.

As a former teacher at a school district in Florida, my particular school required a note from the parents of students who wished not to stand for the Pledge. I rarely bothered students who did not stand for the Pledge. I would simply ask, “Are you not standing because you’re being lazy or are you protesting? If you just don’t feel like it, please stand, otherwise if you’re protesting, I understand.”

Even as an adult, the Pledge of Allegiance feels like propaganda to me. Why can’t one love their country without being required to repeat a statement every day? It seems a bit like brainwashing from a Nazi era and outdated.

“Even as an adult, the Pledge of Allegiance feels like propaganda to me. Why can’t one love their country without being required to repeat a statement every day?”

There are many reasons that students are seeing through this and are questioning everything. For one, classrooms are supposed to nurture independent thinkers who question everything. The student who was arrested this week did that exactly that but the police arrested him, not for any violent act but for speaking out. The police, in this case, used the term “resisting without violence,” when all that should have transpired at the most should have been a phone call to his parents from the school administration or allowing him his right to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance. This just strengthens the movement to remove police from schools. They are schools, not prisons. There aren’t many justifications for an 11-year-old to be arrested anyway.

Find out your school’s policy on standing for the Pledge of Allegiance and if you want to take the path of least resistance, write a note saying that your child opts-out of saying the daily Pledge. Perhaps it’s time that we update the pledge to an affirmation or just remove it completely.

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