Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School Board and the Pledge

In Forum is continuing to cover the upcoming Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School Board meeting (see: Pledge policy may be on its last leg where the policy that requires students to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance is being reviewed.

The rule violates state and federal law, but there is a lot of public pressure to keep the rule anyway because children must be taught respect for the flag and for the people who fought for their freedoms.

Or so the argument goes.

Board member Jerry Anderson said he understands residents’ concerns about spending education dollars on litigation; but, as a veteran, he can’t bring himself to vote for an amendment he deems offensive to the country’s troops:

Against the issue of respect for troops, the article discusses two arguments for changing the policy. (1) Freedom of speech (students have a right to hate their country and show disrespect or the troops if they want to), and (2) fiscal responsibility (we do not have the financial resources to fight a lawsuit).

Note that the Pledge Project is about introducing a set of arguments into this debate that have so far been ignored - the moral arguments against having 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance. News coverage of this school board meeting illustrate why we need to introduce those arguments.

Nothing is said here about the Pledge of Allegiance with the words 'under God' teaching the opposite of respect.

With the words 'under God', the Pledge says that there are four great evils in the world that no patriotic American would support - atheism, rebellion, tyranny, and injustice. This is quite the opposite of a message of respect for those who do not believe in God, some of whom are among those who fought for our freedoms.

Unfortunately, the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School Board seems to shun email. I cannot find an email contact on their entire website.

I have, however, written to the paper.

Also, if you know anybody in the area:

- What: Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School Board meeting

- When: 5 p.m. Thursday

- Where: Administrative conference room, Dilworth Elementary School

- Info: (218) 287-2371

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