When Davis students headed back to the classroom August 28, they
likely will start each day with the Pledge of Allegiance or some other
“appropriate patriotic exercises” — a tradition that goes back generations.
In California, as is the case with many states, classrooms in public schools are required to offer the pledge or a patriotic exercise like singing the National Anthem daily, but students are not required to actually stand up and recite it. Most do, of course, but some students object to the phrase "Under God" and refuse to take part in the daily routine.
The issue has surfaced nationally. Earlier this year, a state lawmaker in Arizona introduced a bill to require students to recite the pledge. Other states, including Oregon and Nebraska, have had discussions on whether to require the pledge to be recited in schools.
For three decades, the pledge didn’t have the phrase “Under God.” But in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower pushed for Congress to add the phrase to combat communist threats, leaving Americans with the 31-words we have today:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We asked the question on Facebook and got some interesting answers.
Satina Paatterson wrote, “YES! ABSOLUTELY!! If we don't teach our children to be proud to be Americans who will?”
Megan Saké sees the issue differently. She wrote, “Aside from the obviously problematic religious language, the United States does not, in fact, provide liberty and justice for all. Forcing children to recite a bit of propaganda every morning just encourages them to blindly love their country. If you're looking for a truly patriotic activity you should push them to think critically about how to change the flaws in the system.”
Christina Thomas offered an alternative that made the geography/history nuts at Patch sing. She wrote, “If they don't want to say the pledge of allegiance then have them name states, capitals, and year founded.”
You can see all the responses on the Davis Facebook page.
What do you think? Should the Pledge be required? Should we drop “under God”? Tell us in comments.