Need help on a school pledge problem.

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Johnathan Graham's picture
Need help on a school pledge problem.

So, today in class, our class stood for the pledge. I, as usual, declined to stand for the pledge and my teacher tried pushing me to do so. Using statements like "Stand for the pledge, I'm asking you to stand for the pledge" Etc. After the pledge she then, in front of the class asked me to defend my point, which I shouldn't have to but I did anyway out of pure boredom and curiosity on her thinking. I state d my points that a "pledge" is outdated and extreme. If a country that were to have different ideals, such as Pakistan. Woke up every morning and said an allegiance to their state, we would view it as extreme. She began to rebuttal this by saying "You can't make that comparison pledge = pakistan". Which absolutely makes no sense because nothing causes that comparison to become irrelevant to Pakistan, and is perfectly acceptable to make an example of another country using something we do to show its extremism.

My next point was it is brainwashing teaching young children to pledge their allegiance to a country without having knowledge about the country and its ideals and culture. That it was damaging to enforce blind allegiance to a country. She just shook her head at this point and agreed.

Next point was the "In god" stature. Us, as Atheist all know this argument, lack of inclusiveness for all etc.

Last point, was "...Liberty and justice for all" doesn't even apply to our country when you can see gender discrimination, racism, and unacceptance of the LGBT community. Which can be seen all over whether from demonstrative legislation or common social agreement on some of these topics.

She then ended her peace with a "Appeal to Emotion" tactic and tried rallying us all up under this pledge bla bla. It was alot of just appeal to emotion and it was prevalent. She also asked me "What law allows you to not stand for the pledge?" She asked this as a world history teacher(Teaches U.S History as well). Not sure if she didn't know herself, but I know I couldn't remember the exact case but I remembered and its Virginia v Barnette.

So, TL;DR I had a debate in class about myself not standing for the pledge infront of all students. I'm afraid next time she will ask me to leave the class because of it(Which is completely illegal) and I'm not sure what to do after that and what legal process I should go through.

Any help would be appreciated, thankyou.

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CyberLN's picture
The ACLU would be one place

The ACLU would be one place to start.

cmallen's picture
I feel your frustration. In

I feel your frustration. In '84 I stopped standing for the pledge (I had already stopped saying it for some time). I cought huge flack for it and eventually got suspended because my teacher claimed I was talking during the pledge (which I never did).

In my situation, they were just looking for an excuse to expel me as I was a trouble-making anti-apartheid and anti-Grenada/el Salvador/Nicaragua invasion activist who organized rallies in school. (And before anyone says it, yes, I do see the irony in me being a former anti-war activist and a combat veteran.)

Your situation may be different in that it sounds more like you are hurting the feelings of your teacher. You have a strong legal footing to stand on in this matter and if you continue to suffer this type of harassment (being singled out, for instance) you probably have grounds for some sort of lawsuit. Just make sure to be respectful of others while they are saying the pledge and don't violate school rules and policies (as long as they are legal).

There is a way to democratically change the policy of the school to even have a pledge of allegience through the school board. I'm sure it would be an uphill battle all the way, but it might be worth the effort merely for the attention it will draw.

Anyway, it warms my heart to see students still questioning the idiocy of school policies. Good on ya'.

ThePragmatic's picture
There has been several

There has been several incidents in the news about similar scenarios.
If you google "pledge of allegiance refusal", "pledge of allegiance stand", etc. you will find several incidents and interesting info.

Among others, I found this:

Johnathan Graham's picture
Thank you for the kind words

Thank you for the kind words Allen. I didn't come off as abrasive or disobedient at all in my stance. She just singled me out and I provided my points after she started the discussion. I approached it calm, cool, and collectively in a democratic way. (Something I've been known not doing a few years ago). She attempted to imply that I do not respect our soldiers because I don't stand for the pledge. Which was a pretty far stretched accusation. It's nice to see a combat veteran who agrees with me on the situation.

Thank you Pragmatic, I've seen this website before but didn't watch the videos, I found the humanist legal center link and will use it if needed.

Kataclismic's picture
The Jehovah's Witnesses

The Jehovah's Witnesses believe that to pledge allegiance to the flag is to permeate their allegiance to god and being in a 'free religious expression' country they don't have to stand and pledge their allegiance to the flag. If the country can allow them free expression then to disallow your free expression would be highly hypocritical. The military men your teacher speaks of fought for your right to free expression and to be oppressed by your teacher is again hypocritical. I'm thinking it's just your teacher and you may need to change classes.

Pitar's picture
I wouldn't get all bothered

I wouldn't get all bothered by the pledge. There's all kinds of vows and pledges extant in this world that can get the overly sensitive nancies panty-wadded. It just doesn't matter. They're words carried over from another period when they represented the conscience of the population at large.

Currently, people get virtual bloody noses over nothing but they'll turn around and physically lay themselves on the alters of body piercings and ink. People no longer make any logical sense of themselves publicly because it's become unfashionable to do....what? Make sense? They spend more time looking for something - anything - to rebel against rather than attempting to better themselves. They're sniffing around for matters of principle to champion rather than for things that really matter.

The school pledge is one such thing. I said it every time. The words just didn't matter to me and the act of reciting them mattered even less.

Buck up and get on with life's important stuff.

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