To Pledge or Not to Pledge?

To Pledge or Not to Pledge?

By Christie Do “…With liberty and justice for all.” Those words fill the air with many different opinions at Lincoln High after the Nebraska Board of Education unanimously voted to make it mandatory for all Nebraskan Schools to set time aside for the Pledge of Allegiance every day. Many students voice their opposition in participating

Some students in Chris Maly’s 5th period IB English 1 class stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance while others choose not to on Sept. 5, 2012. The Nebraska State Board of Education recently passed a measure requiring schools to set aside time during the day for the pledge. individual participation is optional. Photo by Christie Do

By Christie Do

“…With liberty and justice for all.” Those words fill the air with many different opinions at Lincoln High after the Nebraska Board of Education unanimously voted to make it mandatory for all Nebraskan Schools to set time aside for the Pledge of Allegiance every day. Many students voice their opposition in participating by sitting down and not saying the pledge, while others stand up proudly with their hands over their heart.

Some students voiced their opinions on many different aspects of the pledge, such as whether or not the pledge should be mandatory, what it means to recite it, and so forth, on The Advocate Online and through interviews.  Senior, Alex Sorensen, told us “I came to the conclusion that even though I said the Pledge all through elementary school and now in high school I have never once been taught about what it means to pledge your allegiance to your flag. This makes me feel like people are just blinding swearing to stand by their country even if something is done that the said individual does not believe in.”

Junior, Jenny Haar, said “When I heard about this new law, my first thought was “Don’t our legislators have anything better to do with their time?”  Requiring schools to say the Pledge of Allegiance seems like one of those laws that gets passed so that the legislators can say “Hey, look, we’re doing something!”  Yes, the law does have a purpose, but is promoting patriotism in schools really the issue that needs legislators’ time and attention right now?  In this day and age, we have so many important social and political issues, and we’re spending our time making sure that schoolchildren say the Pledge of Allegiance?  Patriotism is a good thing, but will saying the Pledge every day really even promote it?…If you really want to promote patriotism, teach about the Pledge of Allegiance, and how it was written, and what it meant to the people who wrote it, and what it means to people now.  Learning the words and reciting the words won’t do any good, in fact, if they become just another tedious habit, people will be even less likely to want to understand them.  ”

Senior, Katie Chipalski, states “I don’t really have a religion right now, therefore I feel like something is being pushed into my face. I also feel as though if you sit in class and ignore what’s going on, you may be judged as “”unAmerican””. I am not a supporter for saying the Pledge in school.”

Junior, Nikolai Nastin, felt “What’s wrong with honoring the land that you live in? Is the flag, the symbol of America, really not worth standing up for? Isn’t that what this country was founded on? A ‘new’ land of opportunity?…Sure – America has done some horrible and otherwise malicious things, but I respect the American people and their help to me as an immigrant – not what the back-room bottom-line of the government is now-a-days. I think respecting the American flag is merely showing your gratitude not only for the people of America, but for those who lost their lives GIVING you that freedom – for freaken FREE.”

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