Pledge Fight Continues in Seattle

Controversies are brewing about the Pledge of Allegiance all over the nation.  Currently, there are three communities where Americans “offended” by the Pledge are fighting to remove it from schools.  The case that seems to elicit the most puzzlement is happening in Seattle, where an Air Force vet is simply beside herself with angst over the thought of her daughter being exposed to the Pledge. 

John Stanford International School (JSIS) is the type of school you likely have never heard of.  I certainly had not until this story.  It is an “immersion” school, a school where, for half the day, the students learn their lessons in either Japanese or Spanish.  Great way to teach young children a second language.  On its face, I’m all for that.  Its mission seems focused on proficiency in a second language at an early age, although it also speaks of “cultural diversity”, a moniker that is getting tiresome.  That, I am not so much in favor of if for no other reason than the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of diversity, leaving commonality to die on the vine.

I am also against eliminating the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, which, by the way, is mandatory according to state law.  Every state in the nation has a similar law, although the practical application may be somewhat patchy.  Also part of Washington’s law is the option for children who do not wish to recite it to sit quietly and respectfully while their classmates participate.  No child can be punished for not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sounds reasonable to me.  But, not to US Air Force veteran Stacy Sides, who says she specifically chose to move to Seattle to send her daughter to JSIS.  The focus on multiculturalism was enough of an attraction to her to change her residence so that her daughter could have a global perspective on things.

Here is some advise for Sides: Use the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance as, what your generation likes to call, a “teaching moment”.  Teach your daughter that in America, there are all sorts of people.  And those people are FREE to believe all sorts of things.  And the reason they are FREE to believe whatever they choose to believe is because we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.

Teach her that other nations – and they are many in number – do NOT allow their citizens to believe whatever they want to believe. In other words, they are NOT FREE.  Lastly, teach her that, in order for all Americans to remain FREE, we must have a common foundation on which to stand.  A foundation that has proven to protect the right of humankind to live freely.  A foundation that, because of FREEDOM, is not perfect, but is remarkably self-correcting.  A foundation that respects the rights of all individuals.

Sit down and discuss those principles with her and then give her the choice (another practice your generation is taking to the extreme, but in this case, may prove worthwhile) of whether or not to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  I rather expect, with even just a little fairness in your explanation of America, she’ll be just fine reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.


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