Crossfire: Should the Pledge of Allegiance Be Recited in Schools?

Some say that the pledge creates conflict with students’ religions.  Photo Credit: Patrick Kelley

Some say that the pledge creates conflict with students’ religions. Photo Credit: Patrick Kelley

YES

By MAQADUS SAKHI 

With the school year back in session, millions of students are once again reciting the pledge of allegiance. The pledge is recited every morning in public schools by standing and facing the flag while placing the right hand over the heart. It is a way for students to honor their nation.

The pledge of allegiance has great significance. It was first used in 1892 and has since become part of United States history. Reciting the pledge reminds students of the freedom that is granted to them in the United States and the men and women who have risked their lives every day. These fearless soldiers have allowed Americans to live their lives peacefully and for students to obtain an education. Unfortunately, many do not know the true meaning of the pledge, but repeating it every day may give them the opportunity to get a deeper understanding of its significance.

The pledge consists of 31 words and takes at most 15 seconds to recite, which does not take away from students’ education. This 15-second pledge is a very small price to pay in comparison to the sacrifices of the soldiers who have given their lives to serve their country.

For those who do not want to say the pledge, it is not mandatory. If students decide not to recite it, then they do not have to give a reason for that and they will not get in trouble for it. Reciting the pledge is a symbol of patriotism, a way to show loyalty to the United States. It is not mandatory to be patriotic.

America is built on the idea of recognizing all beliefs and opinions, and for that very reason, the choice of students who want to recite the pledge should also be respected.

NO 

By MOHIGUL NASIMOVA 

“I pledge allegiance to the flag….” Repeating this statement every morning can be a hassle and a waste of time. The pledge undoubtedly has significance, but having to recite it every morning can strip away its importance and take away valuable learning time. 

In the morning, students prepare for class and are already engaged in their learning objectives. As the speakers blast the recitation of the pledge, all work and attention must be stopped. This repeated action creates a disruption in the class. Although it might not seem like a long period of time, doing it every morning for an entire school year adds up to a large amount of time where education was paused. 

Many are aware of the importance of the pledge, but hearing it every day can be annoying and trivializing. A parent may repeat or nag a child about acceptable behavior, and hearing the pledge can produce the same mindset in students. Listening to this repetition increases its insignificance for many students. Therefore, the pledge shouldn’t be recited as often to build up its importance. 

The pledge can also create a  religious conflict for some students. It clearly states “god” in the pledge itself, and this can be a setback to students who don’t share the same belief. The pledge was created under Christian beliefs, so students of other religions, or no religion, might choose to not recite it due to not sharing this faith. 

Younger children reciting the pledge see this as a mandatory action and do not understand its significance. In a classroom of young students, they recite this pledge every morning for the sole purpose of following the teacher and her instructions, as well as following other students’ actions. Their understanding of the pledge is little to none, so the pledge should be taught to the students, and they should be informed of their rights to either recite the pledge or not.

Although reciting the pledge is not mandatory, it should hold significance by playing it only once in a while. Everyone should be aware of the meaning of the pledge, even the young, so that reciting it can be a choice.