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10yr Old Refuses to Recite Pledge

 
 
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 10:12 am
Student Refuses to Say Pledge
Northwest Arkansas
Friday October 9th, 2009
KNWA wrote:

"When I heard from the principal, I was not happy," said Jay Phillips.

Jay and Laura Phillips were shocked to hear their 10-year-old talked back to a teacher at West Fork Middle school Thursday - but were less surprised when they found out why.

"Don't push him - four days of hassle, hassle, hassle and raise your voice," said Laura Phillips. "He's going to lose his temper."

Their son told them last weekend he had decided to no longer stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance at school because he didn't believe there is liberty and justice for all, especially when it comes to gay rights.

"To say them (words) and not mean them would be a lie," Jay said.

This week their son says a substitute teacher prodded him every day to stand up and say the pledge after he had refused. He then says he got angry, and talked back. The Phillips said that they reprimanded him for that, but they don't want him to be pushed to do something he doesn't feel comfortable doing.

"We would like to have the school make sure the teachers know the kids do have the right to sit down and make their own choices, even if he is only 10 and in 5th grade," Laura said.

She chooses not to say the Pledge of Allegiance, but Jay does. They said that they respect each other's choices - and their son's - and they don't see it as an insult to the country.

"He is not anti-American," Laura said. "He is very proud to live here, but he knows even at 10 he can make changes."

The West Fork School District responded by saying that they don't require students to say the pledge.


source: http://nwahomepage.com/content/fulltextfox?cid=126411

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Type: Discussion • Score: 31 • Views: 13,362 • Replies: 102

 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 11:25 am
@Diest TKO,
The substitute teacher was in the wrong. There are precedents for this and I was heartened by the last sentence in your post:

Quote:
The West Fork School District responded by saying that they don't require students to say the pledge.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 12:14 pm
Wow, what a kid!

I was already 14 when I refused to say it (on the grounds that I didn't believe in god, mostly). The VP said I had a valid point and the teacher wigged out (veins a-popping) had to let me do my thing.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 12:29 pm
@Diest TKO,
Bravo!
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 12:29 pm
@littlek,
What a great kid! His parents should be (and clearly are) proud of him.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 12:41 pm
Good for him.
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 05:24 pm
Sorry - I disagree. This could have been one of those "teachable moments" they talk about and a really good discussion and lessons could have been spun off of this event.

Yes, the teacher dropped the ball - in his/her approach to someone who wanted to protest in order to make a point.

All the kids should have been taught how to make changes so there is freedome and liberty for all.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 06:42 pm
@Diest TKO,
Good for the kid.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  4  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 06:50 pm
@Diest TKO,
Pledging to create a country where there is liberty and justice for all is not the same as agreeing that there is currently equal liberty and justice. I don't care whether anyone pledges allegiance to the flag or not, but someone should at least explain to the child that liberty and justice is something that we must constantly strive for.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 06:56 pm
Coercing the pledge is much like the McCarthy era, where so many were forced to sign loyalty oaths.
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 07:01 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

Coercing the pledge is much like the McCarthy era, where so many were forced to sign loyalty oaths.
Bush made people take loyalty oaths. It wasn't so long ago. No, really. No that long.

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0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 07:05 pm
@engineer,
well maybe so but from my experience ( I did not grow up in the US ) my first encounter with "THE PLEDGE" was in high school and i found it to be absurd. Having lived in the middle-east and europe I was reminded of the movie tone news reels I had seen of Hitler Youth. I certainly did not think about equal liberty and justice for all. I would usually just stick my hands in my pockets and stare out the window while the other students recited "THE PLEDGE."
I suppose the teachers considered me a contrarian but never said anything to me (this was in the 1950's).
mostly the teachers seemed concerned with building bomb-shelters in their back yards and explaining why it was so important for every family to do the same.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 07:11 pm
@edgarblythe,
I had to sign a loyalty oath at UC, and I could understand that given some of the research going on - though that whole thing sounds concocted, I suppose in some extreme circumstance someone could relay vital information. It wasn't relevant for us, we sent reprints of our med papers all over the globe (great way to collect stamps, from the requests). On whether I'd physically repel the enemy, gadzooks. I did go into work when Reagan closed the university - I had dialysis beakers to change for a then important experiment, my job. The campus was very still. At least our building was dead as a doornail.

On the pledge, I'm so old that I remember the pledge without the god part. I'm pretty fond of my country, with all its berserkness, and have no plans to betray it. I do give away the odd recipes, even on the internet.
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 07:12 pm
@engineer,
I agree, but I somehow think that on some level this child somehow understands that it's all of our responsibility. The child could have chosen many ways to make his point, he chose the way the inspires a perfect amount of overdue discomfort.

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0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 07:19 pm
@ossobuco,
I recall the original pledge. I can understand loyalty pledges, I guess, in areas sensitive to national security.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 07:22 pm
@ossobuco,
Actually, I'm the one here who had a father lose major clearance because of what someone under his command/purview did, and in many ways it ruined his life - sickening, in that he was sincerely patriotic.

So, no, I don't like loyalty oaths, they're constructs of rectitude. I do prefer that people not give away classified info (well, that's another subject, if any damned thing is classified, but given the classification is important..). It seems a beast though, gone awry many times.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 07:25 pm
@ossobuco,
But back to the child, the sub teacher was out of line.
Kid's a tad pompass sounding.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 07:32 pm
@ossobuco,
I'd like to rephrase that. I'm not for giving away any classified info.
I prefer that classification would be cautiously used.
0 Replies
 
Always Eleven to him
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 08:20 pm
@sullyfish6,
Quote:
All the kids should have been taught how to make changes so there is freedom[] and liberty for all.


Absolutely! I was also a contrarian at age 13; I did not say the pledge of allegiance because I was outraged by and ashamed of what my country was doing in Vietnam. I was fortunate to have a mentor (the youth minister at our church) who fostered independent thought in the youth he shepherded. He was the one who taught us that we could make changes. We learned about non-violent protest and about raising our voices against human rights abuses in Vietnam (and elsewhere) and unequal treatment of our citizens in the U.S.

When I applied those lessons at school, organizing protests against draconian sanctions imposed against classmates for allegedly violating a school rule on a weekend when school wasn't in session, all I got was detentions. <sigh>

Too bad that more of the adults didn't hear what the youth minister was saying. The adults at that church would send lots of money into urban areas to support African-American children's educations. But when an African-American bought the local gas station, those same parishioners boycotted the business. That's when I quit going to church.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 09:13 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Yeah, MA, I'll bet that they're reeeeally careful to tell the kids that they don't have to recite this garbage.
0 Replies
 
 

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