The Teachers' Scrounge

News and comments from the world of public education. A middle school math teacher shared what he learned today.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

And Stand Up, Too

Three Minnesota students were assigned to in-school suspension (ISS) because they would not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, according to this online article.

In Texas, the school day must begin (according to the State Legislature) with
  • the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag,
  • the Texas Pledge, and
  • a "minute" of silence.
We're all familiar with the Pledge of Allegiance. The Texas Pledge goes:
Honor the Texas Flag
I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas
One state, under God,
One and indivisible.
The line in italics was added this year.

And the minute of silence. The legislature actually says "a minute." One of our administrators actually makes sure this is a minute long. The others are kinder and instead lead us in a long "moment" of silence. It's tough for these middle schoolers to shush for one minute.

Okay, so what about protesters? Well our district policy states that a student who chooses not to participate in the pledges must have a parent-signed form on file. That makes sense to me. I have no real problem with a kiddo choosing to not participate, but mom & dad need to be aware. And this can't be a whim or "I don't feel like getting out of my chair today," but instead, "I took the time to register my feelings on paper."

A lot of the kiddos have a problem with reciting the Texas Pledge, and I would say many of the teachers do as well. I don't know anyone who has made an issue of it, but there are plenty of kids violating district policy (and state law) on this one.

The State has NO provision for students to skip the minute of silence. No parent signature will get you out of that one.

Someday I would like to research how many other states have a pledge and what each state's expectations are for beginning the school day patriotically.

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