Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School Board Meeting

I would like to give a reminder that on the evening of June 19th (Thursday) the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton school board will vote on a change in the school policy.

Currently, the policy requires students to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, and four students were suspended recently for failure to do so. The policy change would permit the students the option not to stand.

The arguments so far have been legal arguments and legal threats. "Allow students to sit or face a lawsuit that their right to free speech is being violated - a lawsuit on an issue that the Supreme Court has already decided in our favor."

In this context, the claim is easily interpreted as saying, "Children have the right to show contempt for the country and the people who sacrificed for their freedoms if they want to. You cannot show them to respect either." The assumption being that to remain seated and not saying the Pledge is an expression of disrespect.

The moral arguments against the Pledge are not being presented.

The wrongness of a government telling its citizens, "In our eyes, a person who does not support 'one nation under God' cannot be a patriot, in the same way that a person who does not support 'liberty and justice for all' cannot be a patriot," is not mentioned.

Today, a guest editorial appeared on In-Forum, a local news service, stating, Reciting teh Pledge at D-G-F Schools Should Not Be Optional.

The real issue here is about loyalty and respect – respect for the people who fought to give these little snot-nosed kids all the rights they do have.

This, of course, is false. The Pledge (with the words 'under God') shows the opposite of respect for some of those who fought for those freedoms. It teaches disrespect for all who do not support 'one nation under God'. If any should deny this, then ask them, "What does the Pledge say about people who do not support liberty and justice for all? Does it say that they are worthy of respect or that they deserve their nation's contempt? Whatever the Pledge says about these people, it says the same thing about people who do not support 'one nation under God'."

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