NP MaKalie

Column by MaKalie Farmer

            On average, how many students actually stand for the pledge every morning? What goes through the students minds during the moment of silence? Above all, do students even know why we have a pledge?

            During the Civil War of the 1800s, school masters started having the children say the pledge in the mornings as a “method of teaching patriotism in public schools.”

            The pledge would have most likely been forgotten if it wasn’t for the migration of 2.5 million immigrants heading into America. This caused panic among several states and the pledge gave families a sense of security. The use of the pledge in public schools was a key component for the inculcation of loyalty to the United States.

            It was not until June 14, 1954 that schools were required by law to state the pledge every morning. Back then, schools could suspend a student for abstaining from the pledge.

            Now, in 2020, schools are not as strict when it comes to the pledge and students are no longer required by law to verbally state the pledge. This has significantly cut down on the amount of court cases. However, students have forgotten the whole purpose of the pledge as time has gone on.

Students idea of the pledge has morphed from patriotism into cultism. Students, even some adults, believe that standing with your hand over your heart has become a sign similar to that of a cult initiation. When, in reality, we are standing with our hands over our hearts to salute the brave men and women that sacrificed their own lives for the great country we get to call home.

Most people don’t say the pledge out loud because of their religious preferences, anxiety, political beliefs, or because they simply don’t know the words. But no matter your reason for not saying it, you should still at least stand in silence with everyone else. It is because of those fallen soldiers that you have the right to practice your own religion or have your own political beliefs.

My oldest brother is in the army and I have an uncle in the air force. I stand for the pledge everyday to honor them for doing things most people wouldn’t. I may not agree with everything the government does, but I stand because brave people like my brother and my uncle risk their lives daily. Standing is the least I can do.