From today's Fargo Forum:
GLYNDON, Minn. – The Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School Board will vote tonight on a revision to its student handbook that will allow students to remain seated during the Pledge of Allegiance.
Earlier this month, three D-G-F eighth-graders landed in in-school suspension after sitting during the pledge and thus violating a school policy that requires students to stand for it, whether they choose to recite along.The district later consulted an attorney, who said requiring students to stand during the pledge might well be making them participate in it – something school districts can't do under Minnesota statutes. The district also received a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union stating the district's policy violates the First Amendment.
My thought is, the primary reason for standing during the Pledge of Allegiance is the same as any other time the flag is on display: Respect. You should stand, remove your hat, place your hand over your heart and contemplate what the Flag represents. It's a simple sign of respect.
When children are not taught this simple little thing, when parents and the ACLU argue that it's against their rights to make these kids stand for one or two minutes, is it any wonder our country is heading for ruin? When I was younger, there was no option. You stood and recited the Pledge.
We were taught what the American Flag represents, what sacrifices have been made under that banner. We learned in school and from our parents and grandparents what a World War is all about. Today the entire concept of a World War is something most kids can't comprehend. Global messaging, sure, but WAR?
Respect is something that is earned, and in my opinion, the Stars and Stripes have earned our respect. We may not always agree with what goes on for our country, but as with any relationship, the whole picture is worth so much more than bits and pieces. This was once a great country, and can be again. We just have to quit letting the children make the decisions. They're kids. They're entitled to their opinion, but in the end, they're just kids. My boys know enough to show respect. They don't question why we do it. They question why more people don't.