The Pledge

The pledge signature in Florida has caused quite the controversy that has sent waves all the way to Ralston Valley.


Hunter Burns

Hunter Burns, Staff Writer

Is it unpatriotic, or a right?

This is the question asked in Florida, as people hear about the controversial story regarding the Pledge of Allegiance.

An uncle in Florida was outraged when his niece was sent home with a waiver giving her permission to opt out of saying, or standing up, for the pledge with parental consent.

The girl’s mother sent back the following: “This is the dumbest thing I have ever read and I am so ashamed of this.”

 Social media has also taken part in this and caused quite the controversy.

We’re lucky to live in a country where we can say yes or no to saying the pledge.”

— Mr. Eicher

Despite Florida law requiring schools to inform parents that their children have a right not to participate in the pledge, many children and parents have been bullied into saying it for years by teachers, administrators, and judges.

Mr. David Eicher, a U.S History teacher here at Ralston Valley, provided some insight on this matter.

“We’re lucky to live in a country where we can say yes or no to saying the pledge,” Eicher said. “I feel like people are just looking for things to disagree on instead of counting their blessings.

“With all the controversy surrounding our country, it becomes a matter of an outlook on life,” Eicher added. “Are you looking at life half full or half empty?”

After all, people came to America with the idea of life getting better, as the glass half full.

“It’s a place where countries and cultures can unite with the freedoms to believe in a religion or not,” Eicher said.Permission Slip to Say the Pledge

Personally, Eicher’s preference is for students to stand and participate.

“Be a proud American,” Eicher said. “Don’t be ugly and ruin it for everyone else. Everyone wants to be different and by not saying the pledge that’s what they’re being. It’s more about being proud of our country and those fighting for it.”

While teachers may differ on their views surrounding the pledge, students undoubtedly have different reactions to this issue. Further confounding the issue is the inclusion of “under God” in the pledge.

“The Constitution states that religion and state remain separate and the pledge is another form of state,” said junior Nathaniel Toon. “It’s implying that all religions are Christianity and is forcing religion on other people.”

He may have a point there. Our nation, while originally founded on the basic religions such as Christianity and Catholicism, has become a mixing pot of other beliefs from around the world.

But that may not be the only problem people have with the pledge of allegiance.

Toon’s interpretation of the pledge was that it is “Outdated, forceful, and unfair to other religions.”

Meanwhile, Eicher believes that the pledge is something, “…to be proud of and to be thankful for even though our country isn’t perfect.”

But even in imperfection, the right to stand — or not — the right to recite — or not —  is a choice guaranteed by our country.