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Does anyone else have a problem with the Pledge of Allegiance?

Why do I have to Pledge Allegiance. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of Democracy? Currently, this country embarrasses the hell out of me.

I teach 5th grade. I looped with my class from 4th grade. Last year when the Black Lives Matter movement was in the news more prominently, and the NFL kneeling controversy was big news, a few of my students came to me to have a courageous conversation. They explained that as young, black men, they would like to abstain from reciting the Pledge during daily announcements. Understanding their feelings (and agreeing), and respecting their right to free speech, I said sure, as long as they were respectful, and did nothing else during that time (respecting those choosing to pledge).

Other kids asked why they didn't have to stand, and I allowed the boys to explain. We researched the first amendment and had many discussions. Overtime, many other students decided to sit, expressing that they too felt disenfranchised. Several students are of Mexican heritage, most of the girls, all of my African American boys, and several Caucasian boys all chose to sit the Pledge out. No one says anything. I simply allow it, provided they are respectful of those choosing to recite the Pledge.

Long story short. I was out sick 2 days this week. My substitute complained to the office and I was reprimanded for not forcing my class to stand and say the Pledge. I'm considering calling the ACLU.

If Jehovah's Witnesses can't be forced under the 2nd amendment, why can't the 1st amendment protect everyone else?

Plus, the whole "under god" part bothers me. It violates separation of Church and State. Also, it wasn't part of the Pledge until 1954 when our government thought adding the phrase would differentiate us from communists (who weren't necessarily godless by the way--proof Congress had no logic back then either).

Sigh. Thoughts?

MarvelAnn 8 Mar 29

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OMG. I am with you. Educate them and inform them. I teach 4th grade. If they don't ask I don't tell. But I sure as hell would if asked. You are a MARVELOUS teacher. Continue doing what you do and YES get the ACLU involved if it comes to that. More power to you!

Could not have said it better myself. My thoughts exactly!


Call FFRF-Freedom From Religion Foundation and ask them for help as well as ACLU. Good Luck-on yours and those abstaining.


The original pledge didn’t have under god in it. Was added under McCarthyism

I was in 4th grade when it was added, 1954 I think.


I totally understand your frustration, and couldn't agree more. Our country currently has it's priorities completely skewed and twisted ... (sigh)


My allegiance is to the constitution. Not to any symbol. Nor piece of ground.

Jacar Level 8 Mar 30, 2018

I haven't recited the pledge or stood for the national anthem since I was in grade school, I understood even then that this country had abandoned the ideals set forth in The Constitution and The Declaration of Independence, and yes my parents were always getting calls from my school


First, it is unconstitutional to force anyone to make the pledge of allegiance. It has been so since 1943. As far as I know, we here in the US and ironically North Korea are the only ones in the world who carry it to such extremes. Other countries where a pledge is common, but not overbearing are:


Countries that don’t:

All European countries.
Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Most countries around the world have rituals related to their flags and their national anthems that are innocuous in nature.

We have history to look at and should learn one major lesson from it: Nationalism is the primordial swill from which emerges tyrants, despots, and dictators.


Saying the pledge, particularly making it compulsory for children to say it in school, does nothing more than promote nationalism, an inherently unhealthy mindset. It instantly creates a mentality of "us versus them," or "we're better," or "we are the chosen." In children, it conditions them, moving them into this way of thinking with each repetition. Forget "under god." I say get rid of the whole thing.


As I have watched the US diverge from its ideals, I have come to realize that my "allegiance" is the idea if a free, open, and just society; not to a country.


It's still difficult for me to beleive that we have states that MAKE the kids recite the pledge every day. Forced patriotism makes me think of all of the bullshit going on in China. If I didn't love my country, I wouldn't be here. However, you can love something and still know for a fact that it needs to be improved upon.


I believe I would call the ACLU. I has been up held by the Supreme Court that kids don’t have to stand for the pledge. I have already had to go to school and raise hell with them about the teacher yelling at my step daughter because she didn’t stand for the pledge. The principal and the teacher both apologized to her.


I've never liked that or playing the National Anthem at ball games. It smacks of nationalism, and that can be dangerous.

I don't know if the English language has a word for it...but in Spanish extreme nationalism is defined as PATRIOTERISMO...which means the exaggerated / blind love of one's country and total contempt for the rest of the world's achievements and culture.
I don't think honoring the flag and singing the National Anthem amount to anything dangerous.

@DUCHESSA Look at what went on in the NFL last year with the players kneeling. The response against the players was nationalistic and racist.

@Sticks48 IMHO...the players were wrong.

@DUCHESSA They were totally right. You are part of the ignorant redneck culture that keeps America from becoming what it should be.

@Sticks48 If you only knew I am a Latina.
I would appreciate you keeping the insults inside your pockets. Thank you.

@DUCHESSA do you feel they were wrong?


I don't mind that its an option, but I never went 4 it being mandatory. Even when I was in grade school, when I decided 2 stop doing it, they were upset, and they tried 2 make me do it, but honestly they can't. They don't have the ability 2 make words come out of my mouth. At least not easily at their disposal. They tried 4 a while and eventually they gave up.

Byrd Level 7 Mar 29, 2018

I think contacting the ACLU would be a good idea, but be prepared for possible backlash from the school and possibly your community. Don't let that stop you, though. It is a matter of freedom vs. indoctrination. You're on the right side of this, IMHO.

How would one "force" someone who didn't want to stand and speak to do so anyway?

(When I choose to recite the Pledge I do not include the phrase "under God." Unfortunately, I'm pretty much forced to use currency, although I avoid it when possible. I'm not sure what I would do if I was ever asked to place my hand on The Bible to take an oath, such as being a witness in court.)


My school the kids must stand at attention but can not say it. I am a high school teacher and I stand but do not say it for obvious reasons.


Good for you! I wish you had been my teacher when I was in school. I HATE the Pledge of Allegiance, and I sit it out whenever the opportunity arises. I used to just skip "under god," but now I skip the whole thing. I kneel for the National Anthem. I also dislike the motto "In god we trust." I take "E Pluribus Unum" as the real national motto.

I am especially embarrassed to be American in the days of this Fake President.

Yes, please contact the ACLU. With their help, I hope you win the case against forcing people to recite a pledge.

I've refused to say it since 5th grade.


I don't have anything to add to the good advice others have suggested here, but I admire your thoughtfulness and fortitude. Those young people need teachers who will listen to them and respect their opinions.


Fuck yes of course it does. im from Egland and wouldnt stand for my so called national anthem either. I am not free anymore than americans or anyone but the choices I do have I like to choose myself.


I WOULD call the ACLU. However, I would understand that my job might be in jeopardy as a result. Do you teach in a public school or private? Pricate schools generally have the ability to dictate behavior more than public. I do not say the pledge, which is often recited at events in the environment in which I live. I do stand, however, out of respect. My choice. I respect the right of others to do otherwise.


My problem with the PoA is the "under God" part. I never say these two words


Complete B.S. I am an Army Veteran and served 110 miles behind the Iron Curtain in West Berlin. Forced compliance is not freedom. The onset lately of adoration of authoritarian doctrine and leaders is scary. I blame the preachers and their brainwashing on Sundays that we must all comply. Damn sure not why I wore the unform.


E PLURIBUS UNUM! The words christians despise, and I enjoy saying them.


I was in first or second grade when they added the words "under God". I was never comportable with that and stopped saying it many years ago. Since 9-11 we are suppsoed to say the pledge at everything including garden club. (I can't go talk about plants without declaring my allegiance???) I love the comments and am going to start taking a stronger stand.


"I pledge impertinence to flag-waving of the unindicted co-conspirators of America, and to the Republicans for which I can't stand: abomination, underhanded fraud, inexcusable, with liberty and justice, forget it!"--Matt Groening, LIFE IN HELL


The only useful purpose of the pledge is as a cue to answer "What country do you live in?" I don't stand or say it ever. I also talk during the 30 seconds of silence bs.

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