Saturday, June 21, 2008

School Replaces Pledge with Constitution

I have been tracking for a while a story about a school in Oregon, Capitol Hill Elementary in Southwest Portland, that replaced the Pledge of Allegiance in graduation with singing the Preamble to the Constitution instead.

They have gotten international flak for this.

I have not reported it because the reason that the principal gave for his decision was, in my mind, rather stupid. It was because, he said, the principle contained the words 'under God' and he did not want to offend others, such as Muslims.

This got the Muslims upset because the principal was saying they did not believe in God. Which, as I said, sounded stupid and was not something I wanted to get into the middle of.

But, the school has received a number of emails on the issue, and have been attacked by Bill O'Reilly, according to a recent news article.

(The Oregonian, School catches flak for not reciting pledge.)

According to the article:

Shelby has answered each e-mail by saying that Wilson's explanation "was a quick one, not the full one," and that Capitol Hill has students with many beliefs who don't fully participate in the pledge.

"As the document this great country of ours is founded on, the preamble is a fitting text to recite as a show of respect and patriotism," Shelby's reply says. "The principal of Capitol Hill Elementary has not removed the Pledge from the school, nor has she altered its wording in any way. Students will continue to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at Capitol Hill Elementary School."

Given this explanation, I think they should have some support for this decision, and some comments that explain why they should reject the pledge the rest of the year.

School contact page:

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