The North Collins Elementary School in New York has ignored the requests of students and parents to bring back the full Pledge of Allegiance. Each morning, the students are prompted with the first six words of the pledge, “I pledge allegiance to the flag” before the intercom system is turned off. School officials maintain that it’s more time efficient and better for the students to let them continue the pledge at their own pace. Students and parents believe they are missing out on a certain level of patriotism that should be present at school.
Perhaps it would be easier to understand if the students didn’t spend the time every day (in unison, over the intercom) to recite the school’s “character pledge.” Some people are concerned that the priorities presented here are a little twisted.
One such person, Rosemary Troidl, received countless complaints about the policy from students and parents. After learning that the school still refused to change its policy, Troidl resigned from her position as Board Member. She said, “What upsets me is that the people made such a simple request. They weren’t asking for anything other than giving the Pledge of Allegiance the same amount of respect as the character pledge. But I knew they (the board) weren’t going to do anything.”
Troidl was right. The board refused to change the policy even after being presented with a 250 signature petition. Apparently, the school officials believe it’s okay to dedicate five seconds of their time to patriotism, but 15 seconds is just too darn much.
Realistically, I can’t help but wonder what the big deal is. Superintendent, Ben Halsey is shocked at the amount of controversy this has caused. He said, “It’s been very troubling to a person like myself. We do teach patriotism and the meaning of the flag. All those things are in place. It’s been a misunderstanding.”
Troidle, and others like her, believe that there is no misunderstanding involved. They believe if Halsey truly wanted to teach the meaning of the flag, he would recognize the wishes of the majority and let democracy shine.
What do you think?