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Why Does A Political Group In Massachusetts Want To Ban The Pledge Of Allegiance?

Submitted by on September 12, 2011 – 9:05 amOne Comment

The Pledge of Allegiance has no educational value. That’s the argument that a group called the Brookline Political Action for Peace is trying to make about the Pledge of Allegiance right now. As a result of their argument, the group feels that the Pledge should be banned from schools in the town of Brookline, Massachusetts altogether. Martin Rosenthal, the co-chair of the BPAP even says that the fact that children are being “forced” to say the Pledge makes his “skin crawl.”

Thankfully, the people of Massachusetts—and, in particular, the parents of students in Massachusetts—have not bought into the BPAP’s argument. In fact, they’ve stood strong against the group and fought to keep the Pledge in place. One mother whose husband died during the September 11, 2001 attacks even went on the record with the Boston Herald to say that the BPAP’s idea makes her “sick to her stomach.”

“American has been through a lot with the bad economy and soldiers dying in Afghanistan on a weekly basis, but we’ve pulled together,” the woman, Christie Coombs, said. “A majority of Americans are proud to pay tribute to the flag.”

But, does the group have a real shot at getting the Pledge banned from schools in Brookline? Well, maybe. Recently, a Brookline school’s committee chairwoman agreed with the BPAP and said that there really is no educational value in saying the Pledge. And while she did recognize the importance of the Pledge, she seemed to indicate that the reason that it wouldn’t be banned was more because it’s so ingrained into public schools and not because it’s actually important. Rosenthal also tried to argue that he wasn’t being unpatriotic, he was simply standing up for what America is supposed to be all about.

Are these people really serious? The truth is that the Pledge of Allegiance cannot and will not be removed from schools in Brookline, other schools in Massachusetts, or schools across the nation. Aside from the fact that it is ingrained into schools, the Pledge is also our way of professing our love for our great country. Do some kids go through the motions while they say it? Of course. But that doesn’t mean we should eliminate it altogether. It means that teachers need to do a better job of continuously reminding students what the Pledge is all about and why we say it so often.

I can respect Rosenthal’s stance as it pertains to this issue in one way. By bringing up this issue, he has most likely made people in Brookline—and people in other parts of the country—think about why we need to keep the Pledge of Allegiance in schools. And by doing that, he’s really helping reinforce the importance of it. However, if he really thinks getting rid of the Pledge is a good idea, I cannot respect that.

Ten years after 9/11, the Pledge of Allegiance is more important than ever. So, why on Earth would we want to get rid of it now? Students, teachers, and parents alike: Stand up and say the Pledge like you mean it today. Because it’s the only way to stop people like Rosenthal and the BPAP from trying to take it away from us.

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