Students are headed back to the classrooms throughout Northern
California this month and 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.
Some, like Elena McEntee, believed kids should have the choice. McEntee wrote in the Rosemont Facebook page, “Yes, why not? I dont necessarily think they should HAVE to but i think it should be done everyday and they have the option.”
Others like Steven Schneider were more emphatic. Schneider wrote, “Absolutely! The idea of pride in our country and being a part of an American team is something they should learn and seems lost these days! We have our problems, sure, but its not like we're setting them up to go into the military, it's just teaching to care about this country and all the things it can accomplish if we work together.”
You can see all the responses on the Rosemont Facebook page.
What do you think? Should the Pledge be required? Should we drop “under God”? Tell us in comments.