Monday, November 14, 2011

Wasn't This Decided in 1943?

I'm all about patriotism and saying the pledge of allegiance and standing/removing hats/shutting up during the national anthem, but requiring recitation of the pledge of allegiance was ruled unconstitutional during World War II (West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette):
A Nebraska state senator plans to introduce a bill that would require all kindergarten through high school students to be led in a group recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the Lincoln Journal Star reports...

The Nebraska bill would be modeled after a Massachusetts law that does not compel students to participate in the pledge. Michigan, one of the states that does not have a pledge law, has a bill before its senate that would mandate that every student recite the pledge, according to the paper.
I believe the pledge should be said in classrooms every day, but the Supremes were correct in ruling that students should be allowed to opt out. That some will argue with me on this, claiming that students shouldn't even have to hear the pledge, shows how far we've sunk in this country on issues of civic responsibility and pride; there was a time when having merely to be present when the pledge was said wasn't considered oppressive or a political act.

9 comments:

Rhymes With Right said...

Daren -- this law would fit precisely within the boundaries of the 1943 ruling. If the kid is not compelled to say the pledge, there has been no violation of rights.

Darren said...

Read my snippet again, focusing on Michigan.

mazenko said...

This is that misguided attempt at forced and symbolic patriotism again. When will people tire of this silliness?Perhaps we could require them all to wear American flag pins on their lapels as well.

Happy Elf Mom said...

The aim is clearly indoctrination:

"In Zierke's mind, it's also a stepping stone to young people making decisions about how they could serve their country, he said, including stints in the military."

No, thanks.

Darren said...

On the other hand, if we never had such ceremonies, where would people learn them? Are parents really teaching their kids the pledge or the national anthem?

It's not the ceremony I object to, it's the requirement to participate. But those objectors shouldn't be allowed to shut the ceremony down.

Matt Mangels said...

The Pledge was written by a self-described socialist. 'Nuff said.

Darren said...

What is your point, except perhaps that even socialists used to be patriotic?

Matt Mangels said...

I should have elaborated. The pledge needs to go. The right should hate it because it was written by a socialist. People on the left already hate it, and not just because of "Under God". Making kids pledge allegiance to their country is seen as something dictatorships make their kids do. I say we stop saying the pledge and start teaching more history and civics. Or, instead of saying the pledge every day, we start the day with some tidbit about Civics or U.S. history, for example, "here is how the constitution can be amended", something like that. I said the pledge and sang the national anthem every morning at my Catholic elementary school, and while it's a great thing to be proud of your country and all, man, reciting the same thing day in day out just gets old.

maxutils said...

We can't even fund PE everyday for our increasingly obese children. why take the time for midless recitation of platitudes?