Another school official, this one in Norwich, Connecticut, wants to discipline children who do not show respect while the Pledge is being said.
(See School official: Disrupt pledge, face discipline)
Part of the article discusses children who actually engage in disruptive behavior during the Pledge of Allegiance. As far as disciplining children who disrupt school activities - there would be little objection to that. Yet, there is no reason to single out the Pledge as the only time when disruption is to be prohibited. Children should be disciplined any time they disrupt school activities - Pledge included.
However, Charles Jaskiewicz, wants to define 'diruption' when the Pledge is recited a bit more broadly.
“If they don’t want to say (the pledge), I don’t have a problem with that,” Jaskiewicz said. “My belief is they should at least be required to at minimal stand up and respect.”
The article quotes a parent on the issue - one who thinks that the value of showing respect for the country trumps the value of showing respect for different religions.
“I remember back in my day, we all had to say the Pledge of Allegiance,” Dixon said. “Now, we have to be more tolerant of other religions. But that doesn’t mean they can disrespect our country. In fact, students who are found to be disrespectful should write an essay for their atonement.”
Of course, I would love to write an essay on the issue. Of course, I also think thta Dixon should be required to read it. It would have to do with the moral inappropriateness of a government policy that links 'having the right religious belief' with 'being a patriotic American' by having a pledge that only those with the right religious beliefs can say.
And it would have to do with the moral inappropriateness of a national Pledge that lumps not having the right religious beliefs in with rebellion, tyranny, and injustice, as the four great evils that no good American will participate in.
And it will have to do with the moral wrong in having the government, each day, tell its students, "Now all stand and join me in insulting many of those who are currently fighting to protect your freedom by saying that, if they do not support 'one nation under God', we promise to think of them the same way we think of those who will not support liberty and justice for all.'