By Andrea Albayeros ‘17
Saying the pledge of Allegiance is usually recited daily in many public schools. Actually it’s New York State education law that all public schools say the pledge daily. If you’ve said the pledge before or not Midwood will now be making it a part of students daily school routines to say the pledge.
Francis Bellamy wrote the pledge of allegiance in August 1892. Over time, alterations were made to it. In its original form it read “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Later in 1923 the words “the Flag of the United States of America” were added, but one of the bigger changes made to the pledge was in 1954 were the words “under god” were added.
Saying the pledge in schools after the words “under god,” caused many parents to file lawsuits against the school boards. This caused the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to decide that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is an unconstitutional “endorsement of religion” because of the phrase “under god.” This occurred on June 26, 2002. About 12 years later on May 9, 2014 the supreme judicial court of Massachusetts ruled that the pledge of allegiance represents a patriotic not a religionist exercise.
Of course even after this ruling, individuals object to saying the pledge because of those two words. So now that students are told to say the pledge daily there are many opinion.
There are students who don’t really mind this change. “I remember in elementary and junior high I used to say it, but now it’s weird you know because it’s high school,” said Lisette Clemente ‘17, following with “But I guess I’ll just get use to saying it again”
Shade Barthold ‘18 is also accepting with the change stating, “I’ll just say it out of respect”
Then there are students who aren’t really too fond of the idea of the pledge being said everyday.
Gabriel Castellano ‘17 said “We all have freedom of speech they can’t force us to say it.”
Even though now students are told to say the pledge, they are not obligated to. The 14 amendment will always be in effect and even though it’s a New York state law, nowhere does it say that students are being forced to say it.
In the past teachers were given the opportunity to say the pledge in their own classes, but now that the loud speakers have been repaired it’s a suitable time to start saying the pledge on the loud speakers, where all students can participate at once.
When pledging allegiance, the concept is to face the American flag if one is within the vicinity.
Principal Michael McDonnell stated, “The pledge of allegiance is the pledge to America you’re not pledging to a flag,” and even though yes it is about pledging to America not the flag, principal McDonnell said that if there weren’t a flag in a classroom he would try his best to get flags in.
The pledge of allegiance will be recited during period 5. It will be said by the president of the student government Zain Chamoun’ 16
“To say, 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, I am promising to be courageous.” This statement from americanflagfoundation.org really explains what the pledge means to Americans.