What is your take on schools doing the pledge of allegiance? Yes or no?
I have mixed feelings about it, though I grew up reciting it every single school day. As a sub teacher, I did whatever was customary in each classroom. The pledge was commonly recited in almost all classrooms.
Whenever I got a chance-- and especially in long term assignments-- I always did a lesson that helped students understand what the words mean.
After all, if you are required to promise something ("pledge"), and you don't know what you are promising, it doesn't seem quite right.
Words like "pledge", "allegiance", "republic", "indivisible", and others are total mysteries to most kids.
I consider myself to be a patriotic American, and I think everyone should be familiar with the words and the meaning of the words.
I know you asked for a yes or no; this sounds like a maybe.
I do know that starting the school day with some sort of communal, familiar and expected 'ritual' does seem to set the tone for the day. It signals that, as a group, we are officially getting started with the business at hand.
When I was a student in the 50s, I remember saying the pledge of allegiance before classes started. In Thailand, all students have a mandatory morning assembly outside and there is a colors ceremony. While the Thai flag is being raised, everyone stands at attention and sings the Thai national anthem. Yes, kids should be saying the pledge of allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner should be played more often and not only at sporting events.
I think a bit of nationalism is a good thing and that with all children reciting together they understand that it means all Americans, that we are all one group.
I was in favor of the pledge as it was written until 1954 when Eisenhower in a fit of red fever (fear of communism) added "under god".
Its not something that I have any deep connection with (the pledge not America) so I'm not out to change it and I still believe it should be done, with or without the change, It just annoys me the he couldn't leave well enough alone with something that had worked for 100 years.
We did have a class about it, I don't remember what grade but maybe 3rd, about the pledge and what it all meant. Of course in the 50s the "under god" part was being really emphasized.
I think it give teachers a good way to bring the class to order.
Funny Flag story; I forget which grade I was in but it was before 4th. We had a sort of flag ritual every morning where we took in turn to carry the flag to the front of the room and place it in the holder as the pledge was being recited.
My turn came and I had just watched a TV special about the ceremony of the Royal Guard in England. So when I marched the flag up the side of the class in as much as I could best remember how the Royal Guard stepped.
But my teacher thought I was mimicking the Nazi Goose step and had a complete mental meltdown.
We were supposed to do the part several times (days divided number of students) but that was my one and only day.
I'm not a big fan of nationalism, so I don't have a positive opinion of the Pledge of Allegiance. I don't think we have a future if we continue in an us-vs-them world. So, how about a pledge that says, "I pledge allegiance to protect this Earth. I pledge allegiance to all of my fellow humans..."
Regardless, I like what Rochelle Frank said. It's always important that people understand the meaning of a pledge and why they are saying it. I'm never in favor of rote parroting.
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