Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 08:53 am
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - There's no set of standards requiring New Mexico children to stand and perform the pledge of allegiance, but soon that's expected to change.

The New Mexico Department of Public Education is expected to make changes, allowing students in every district the right to choose whether they want to recite the pledge or not.

Every school day, thousands of New Mexico school children recite the pledge of allegiance.

In some school districts, like the one in Albuquerque, some kids choose to sit out the ritual. Other districts require every student to stand up, face the flag and speak.

The issue flared up in Roswell three years ago when an elementary school teacher asked children to recite the pledge in Spanish. Some students refused and spoke English instead.

The issue splits most New Mexicans on whether the pledge should be a matter of choice.

"America is where we live, it is the country where we were born in, and we should respect the country that we live in," Jean New said.

"I don't think they should be a requirement but I don't think it's a problem if they are asked to do so," said another man before hurrying to cross Central Avenue.

The New Mexico Department of Public Education said it based its proposed change on the First Amendment.

"In addition to having free speech, to say what you want in most situations, you have free speech to not say something you disagree with," Willie Brown, the General Counsel for the New Mexico Department of Public Education, said.

Public education officials stress that even though a few students will probably opt out of the pledge, it will be recited in every class in New Mexico.

Department of Public Education members said they expect the "Pledge Optional" rule to be enacted shortly after kids return to class next fall.

 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 08:59 am
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:
Other districts require every student to stand up, face the flag and speak.

Or what? They have to sit in the time-out chair? So much for "freedom and justice".
0 Replies
 
Yankee
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 10:35 am
I think it is important for children to understand civics and patriotism and reciting the pledge daily is a reinforcement of those ideals.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 10:39 am
@Yankee,
Yankee wrote:

I think it is important for children to understand civics and patriotism and reciting the pledge daily is a reinforcement of those ideals.
yes, I'm sure you do, I'm also reasonably sure you support the constitution and the bill of rights. You seem to have a problem reconciling your thinking.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 10:46 am
@Yankee,
Forcing children to recite the pledge does nothing for their understanding of patriotism. It merely crams it down their throats that they must go through the motions of showing patriotism.
ebrown p
 
  5  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 10:57 am
@Yankee,
As a young teen, I decided to stop reciting the pledge. At the time I was quite religious and my reasoning was that this pledge was against the Bible.

I was sent to the principal's office and threatened with some punishment (it might have been detention or something). I argued that by sitting quietly I wasn't hurting anyone or interfering with anyone else's rights and should be left alone.

Although I did this on my own initiative, my parents supported me. This would have been in the early 1980's (and I think around this time the Christian Scientists were making the same argument in court). After an intense meeting, the principal backed down. Everyone (except for the homeroom teacher) was fine with this and I didn't stand for the pledge since that time.

I learned an immense amount about civics and patriotism by not reciting the pledge.

ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 10:59 am
@Yankee,
I think children should also be taught about Christian Socialism to explain the origins of the pledge. The original version's not bad.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 11:04 am

Y shoud thay pledge to support a government
that screws them out of their natural right to vote, ?
Thay are CITIZENS, by birthright.

If anything, thay shoud condemn it and shake their fists against it.





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 11:08 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Forcing children to recite the pledge does nothing for their understanding of patriotism.
It merely crams it down their throats that they must go through the motions of showing patriotism.

I still remember the immortal words of Mrs. Jacobson in kindergarten:
"Just say the words."

(She was the teacher, not one of the students.)
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 11:11 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

As a young teen, I decided to stop reciting the pledge. At the time I was quite religious and my reasoning was that this pledge was against the Bible.

I was sent to the principal's office and threatened with some punishment (it might have been detention or something). I argued that by sitting quietly I wasn't hurting anyone or interfering with anyone else's rights and should be left alone.

Although I did this on my own initiative, my parents supported me. This would have been in the early 1980's (and I think around this time the Christian Scientists were making the same argument in court). After an intense meeting, the principal backed down. Everyone (except for the homeroom teacher) was fine with this and I didn't stand for the pledge since that time.

I learned an immense amount about civics and patriotism by not reciting the pledge.



What argument did the Christian Scientists use ?
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 11:18 am
@ehBeth,
Maybe the original was better, but forcing a child to recite a pledge to anything is unacceptable.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 11:19 am
@ehBeth,
And, interestingly, although penned by a Baptist minister, the original version did not have the "under God" bullshit in it.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 11:27 am
@ebrown p,
my hat's off to you. As an 8 year old immigrant waif in my first American classroom I hated reciting the Lord's Prayer and Pledging Allegiance...didn't do anything for my understanding of religion or civics. But peer group pressure was too strong....I went along with it.

It is interesting to note than in Minersville School District v. Gobitis the Supreme Court, led by Frankfurter almost unanimously granted schools the ability to expel students who wouldn't recite the pledge of allegiance with their hand thrust forward in what we now recognize as the Nazi salute.
The lone dissenter was justice Harlan Stone who opined:
Quote:
The guarantees of civil liberty are but guarantees of freedom of the human mind and spirit and of reasonable freedom and opportunity to express them...The very essence of the liberty which they guarantee is the freedom of the individual from compulsion as to what he shall think and what he shall say...
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 11:44 am
@panzade,
panzade wrote:

my hat's off to you. As an 8 year old immigrant waif in my first American classroom I hated reciting the Lord's Prayer and Pledging Allegiance...didn't do anything for my understanding of religion or civics. But peer group pressure was too strong....I went along with it.

It is interesting to note than in Minersville School District v. Gobitis the Supreme Court, led by Frankfurter almost unanimously granted schools the ability to expel students who wouldn't recite the pledge of allegiance with their hand thrust forward in what we now recognize as the Nazi salute.
The lone dissenter was justice Harlan Stone who opined:
Quote:
The guarantees of civil liberty are but guarantees of freedom of the human mind and spirit and of reasonable freedom and opportunity to express them...The very essence of the liberty which they guarantee is the freedom of the individual from compulsion as to what he shall think and what he shall say...


That is an interesting situation.
When I was in the first grade,
I had a gigantic jurisdictional challenge against compulsory education.
I remember asking of my mother:
"Where in the HELL do thay get the right
to have ME go over THERE ??"

I begrudged the interference with my freedom.
I looked upon it as almost a kidnapping,
until my mother convinced me of the value of education.

If a student is expelled from school, is that the equivalent
of its withdrawing its demand for compulsory education ?

What happens next ?
0 Replies
 
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 11:55 am
As a Buddhist I must strongly suggest the "under God" stuff even violates the First Amendment. It forces the Christian concept of God into every child's head. The original version suites me just fine. Even then it should be voluntary.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 12:15 pm
I think it's much ado about nothing, but have no problem with a child opting out of the pledge if he or she wishes to. Somehow I doubt that the majority of the children who do can support their decision in a reasoned fashion, but I don't think that should be a requirement for opting out.

As far as free speech issues go, this is a tempest in a teapot.

If a child has no respect for this country, rote reciting of the pledge isn't going to make a difference. Better that teachers discuss the issue in class.

A more cogent free speech issue is the concept of so-called "hate speech" and laws and regulations that seek to restrict or punish it.

0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 12:24 pm
@panzade,
Quote:
It is interesting to note than in Minersville School District v. Gobitis the Supreme Court, led by Frankfurter almost unanimously granted schools the ability to expel students who wouldn't recite the pledge of allegiance with their hand thrust forward in what we now recognize as the Nazi salute.


It is also interesting to note that the Minserville School District v. Gobitis decision-- given in the midst of wartime fever, was overturned just three years later with the West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette decision. This was one of the most important first amendment cases in our history.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 12:41 pm
I learned it, I understand it. But, I refused to say it in High School. I was sent to the pricipal's office and made my case. He accepted my reasoning and I was off the hook. Pledging to God was offensive to me (and hypocrital). Now I just don't say the God part while I am at school and get stuck reciting the thing.

I guess a case could be made for having elementary school kids memorize the pledge, but they won't really understand it until later. It'd be good to teach with the middle school curriculum about our independence from England.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 12:46 pm
@ebrown p,
good on you to note that...
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2009 01:00 pm
It was all a mystery to me . . . i could never figure out why our nation was invisible . . . i could see it just fine . . .
 

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