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7 hours ago, ktgrok said:

Saying it daily would be like if I started every single day reciting my marriage vows again. Just...a bit odd. 

This reminds me of my wedding ceremony. Our families are Catholic and we are not. We were married in a Unity church. Some family was already bothered that there was a female minister. She had a beautiful and moving ceremony. I think of her often because of her statement that marriage is a daily choice. This was a shocking idea, considering my upbringing. She asked us to reflect on our vows each day and live toward those vows. I think because of our upbringing, and idealistic youth, we had assumptions that marriage just existed and doesn’t need nurturing. 

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The pledge is definitely not part of high school here.  I don't know about middle school.  My younger son is in 7th grade but 6th grade was pandemic year so I am not familiar with what a regular day or year looks like there TBH.  

I've heard the kids say the pledge at Scouts and at a homeschool program's Veteran's Day celebration one year.  

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re regular repetition vs one-off ceremony

1 hour ago, Acorn said:

This reminds me of my wedding ceremony. Our families are Catholic and we are not. We were married in a Unity church. Some family was already bothered that there was a female minister. She had a beautiful and moving ceremony. I think of her often because of her statement that marriage is a daily choice. This was a shocking idea, considering my upbringing. She asked us to reflect on our vows each day and live toward those vows. I think because of our upbringing, and idealistic youth, we had assumptions that marriage just existed and doesn’t need nurturing. 

Yeah, this is sort of where Katie's comment took me.  I can understand the view that mere repetition can become rote and meaningless... but I can also understand the ideal that regular reflection can be quite meaningful.

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My parents both attended college in San Antonio for a time.  There was a history class where the professor would mark you down if you didn't concur with his opinion that Texas has a constitutional right (without congressional approval) to break itself into multiple smaller states should it choose to do so.  This is not true but in his class it was true if you didn't want to get marked down.  The state of my birth is an odd one.  

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On 8/29/2021 at 3:32 PM, Spy Car said:

I think the "under God" phrase is an unconstitutional example of coerced prayer.

Bill

 

The right of students to abstain from reciting all or part of the pledge has long been pretty clear cut.  West Virginia BOE Vs. Barnette is as old as my dad.  Dad is pushing 80.  

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I have a lifetime TX teaching license (probably one of the last years they did that), and had to pass the TX HIGH SCHOOL exit exam, including TX history (as a graduate student) to get it. One of the professors, not originally from TX, gave all us non-natives a couple of page summary of "History the way TX sees it" with the disclaimer that it probably wasn't what we'd learned in school, so we could pass that section. Fortunately, I never had to actually teach it-it's not a big deal in Head Start or 1st grade. 

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I’m laughing at the questions regarding what is taught about Texas history. Every single history teacher I had was a coach and taught absolutely nothing (except the one who was a huge Lincoln\JFK conspiracy theorist and that’s all he taught). I was born and raised in Texas and couldn’t wait to get the heck out at 20. It’s just weird. 

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3 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

A question - kids cant be forced to say the Pledge, but have to stand - is that right? 

What happens if a student won't stand? Anything/nothing/depends on the teacher? 

 

It’s my understanding that those opting out can be required to be quiet/non-disruptive *during the pledge* but not that they can be required to stand. 

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6 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Did some googling to refresh my memory. Mexico didn't allow slavery. The Americans who moved to Texas wanted slavery. That's why they revolted. 

Yep. And with all that Texas history pride do they proudly teach that? 

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1 hour ago, LucyStoner said:

The right of students to abstain from reciting all or part of the pledge has long been pretty clear cut.  West Virginia BOE Vs. Barnette is as old as my dad.  Dad is pushing 80.  

Not good enough in my opinion.

That case was also settled prior to the addition of the "one nation under god" phrase.

Young people in schools should not be coerced into prayer or be made to feel the oddballs for failing to do so.

Bill

 

Edited by Spy Car
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18 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

Not good enough in my opinion.

That case was also settled prior to the addition of the "one nation under god" phrase.

Young people in schools should not be coerced into prayer or be made to feel the oddballs for failing to do so.

Bill

 

Doesn't the decision say students can't be coerced into the pledge? 

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12 minutes ago, AnotherNewName said:

Doesn't the decision say students can't be coerced into the pledge? 

The situation is inherently coercive when it is led by adults in positions of authority who tell children to stand and to recite the pledge.

Overlay that with a child who does opt out looking like they are unpatriotic and/or ungodly and that is an abusively coercive situation in my book.

Children ought not be put in such a situation is a republic where separation of church and state is a hallmark principle of our society. That's just basic.

Bill

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36 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

My SIL was a Covid schooler last year, and made a big, weird point about how she hung a flag up in her home school room, and her kids will say the pledge every day. 🙄  

Whoopie-di-doo, lady.  🙄 

 

Dang it why didnt I think of that.... oh yeah cause I'm too lazy to hang up a flag or commit to such daily rituals lol 

Not to mention it feels a wee bit whackadoodle 

Edited by theelfqueen
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56 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

Not good enough in my opinion.

That case was also settled prior to the addition of the "one nation under god" phrase.

Young people in schools should not be coerced into prayer or be made to feel the oddballs for failing to do so.

Bill

 

I personally don't disagree but the addition of under God has been challenged in court several times at this point and the language has thus far withstood the challenges.  With the current composition of the court, I don't see that changing anytime soon.  

As some one who has opted out of all or part of the pledge as a child, I didn't feel any particular pressure or ostracism about it.  I do understand that that is different in various locations.  I'm 41 so my schooling where the  pledge was recited was in the late 80s/early 90s.  I didn't go to most of middle school and I went to a high school that I am not entirely sure even owned a flag.  We didn't do the pledge, we didn't even have an actual school mascot (nor would we have needed one as the only sport we competed in was Ultimate Frisbee).  

Edited by LucyStoner
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3 minutes ago, theelfqueen said:

Dang it why didnt I think of that.... oh yeah cause I'm too lazy to hang up a flag or commit to such daily rituals lol 

Not to mention it feels a wee bit whackadoodle 

I don't disagree. 😁

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10 minutes ago, theelfqueen said:

Dang it why didnt I think of that.... oh yeah cause I'm too lazy to hang up a flag or commit to such daily rituals lol 

Not to mention it feels a wee bit whackadoodle 

I could see hanging a flag outside of my home but I have not.  I can not see ever hanging a flag of any sort inside my home.  The only US flag we own is the one from my FIL's funeral.  It's in a display box for tri-folded flags that we don't display.  That last thing is more of a reflection on my husband's ambivalence about his father and less about the flag itself. 

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1 minute ago, theelfqueen said:

At one time, one of my kids had a Soviet flag on the wall... it was something I hrought home from Russia a long time ago. 

I'm just not great at rituals and traditions. 

My dad flies the French flag on Bastille Day (we are not French).  Sometimes he also displays a Japanese flag (we are not Japanese). He displays the POW MIA and US Flags at several times throughout the year.  He also has little Washington State and Colorado State flags that he displays in his apartment.  

He is a Vietnam era vet but was and is strongly anti-war.  

He just likes flags and bought some when a there was a flag store down the street from where he lived.  He did not take up this shining to flags until after us kids were grown and gone.  When I was a kid, the only flag I ever saw him have was the POW MIA one.  

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1 hour ago, LucyStoner said:

I personally don't disagree but the addition of under God has been challenged in court several times at this point and the language has thus far withstood the challenges.  With the current composition of the court, I don't see that changing anytime soon.  

As some one who has opted out of all or part of the pledge as a child, I didn't feel any particular pressure or ostracism about it.  I do understand that that is different in various locations.  I'm 41 so my schooling where the  pledge was recited was in the late 80s/early 90s.  I didn't go to most of middle school and I went to a high school that I am not entirely sure even owned a flag.  We didn't do the pledge, we didn't even have an actual school mascot (nor would we have needed one as the only sport we competed in was Ultimate Frisbee).  

I don't disagree about the unlikelihood of a change. Doesn't change my belief that the pledge with "under God" is coerced prayer and that coerced prayer is unconstitutional.

It is not reasonable to expect a young child to stand against authority figures who are ordering them to stand and perform the oath. That is unconstitutional. It may not be decided that way in my lifetime, but....

Bill

 

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On 8/30/2021 at 9:13 AM, Ordinary Shoes said:

I saw the tiktok from the teacher in California about the Pledge. 

Is it still common to recite the pledge in school? DD says it every morning but it's Catholic school. 

People are freaking about this on Twitter but I don't care. Frankly, I think that reciting allegiance to a flag is a bit creepy. I know the history of how "under God" was added in the 1950s and when it was first recited, kids did the Nazi salute instead of placing their hand over their heart. 

I know this became a thing in the last few decades and now adults recite the Pledge which I think is really weird. I think of it as a school thing. 

ETA that there was no American flag in Dd's classroom in Montessori school. 

I always thought it was one of the myths we get told about the US.

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7 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

The right of students to abstain from reciting all or part of the pledge has long been pretty clear cut.  West Virginia BOE Vs. Barnette is as old as my dad.  Dad is pushing 80.  

Although the right of a child to go against the group and the teacher is not a real one.  Either the child does as everyone else does or the child is made to feel like an outcast.  Even when the issue is handled kindly and well their will always be kids who look at them funny or bully them because 'my dad says you ...' And a shy child really doesn't want to stand out in any way.

 

On a similar vein in the 1970's I sang the NZ national anthem at school precisely once when the governor general came to visit (though since none of us knew it we had to learn it and practice it first - I think I was round 11).  Some time between then and when my kids started school they became obsessed with singing it at assembly and prize giving.  Not sure why though.

Edited by kiwik
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6 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

I could see hanging a flag outside of my home but I have not.  I can not see ever hanging a flag of any sort inside my home.  The only US flag we own is the one from my FIL's funeral.  It's in a display box for tri-folded flags that we don't display.  That last thing is more of a reflection on my husband's ambivalence about his father and less about the flag itself. 

So... our new address has a very “USA” feel about it, and dh has this thing in his head about wanting to play into the whole ‘Merica theme. Including a formal flag pole and proper flag. I do not want the bother of caring for such things (I was a Girl Scout and did learn proper handling), but I also just don’t want to give off that vibe!

I think he’s moving away from that idea, thank goodness, but I did tell him I’d live with it and that I’d just make sure that I had enough BLM and rainbow stuff displayed to counterbalance it.  And I’ll still have that stuff if he doesn’t do it, but I don’t have to come up with anything at such a grand scale!

In this purple area, what you put out definitely means something. I have been asked about what our small thin red line flag means, and now I worry that people connect it to the thin blue line flag, which has taken on an extra layer of meaning.

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10 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

re regular repetition vs one-off ceremony

Yeah, this is sort of where Katie's comment took me.  I can understand the view that mere repetition can become rote and meaningless... but I can also understand the ideal that regular reflection can be quite meaningful.

True. 

But if we, say, all got an amber alert type notice on our phones every morning at 7am and were to then stand and recite our vows to our partner before going on with our day, that would be...odd. Especially for those who are not married or widowed or divorced and have to listen to everyone else say it, etc. 

CHOOSING to say something frequently to meditate on the meaning is different than forced rote recitation. 

I'd much prefer an optional morning flag time out in front of the school for those that choose to get there for it, with pledge and a rotation of patriotic songs. Or a rotation in the classroom of pledge, song, poem, inspirational saying, etc. 

 

10 hours ago, Joker2 said:

I’m laughing at the questions regarding what is taught about Texas history. Every single history teacher I had was a coach and taught absolutely nothing (except the one who was a huge Lincoln\JFK conspiracy theorist and that’s all he taught). I was born and raised in Texas and couldn’t wait to get the heck out at 20. It’s just weird. 

Huh here in Florida the coaches all teach Health. 

8 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

Dang it why didnt I think of that.... oh yeah cause I'm too lazy to hang up a flag or commit to such daily rituals lol 

Not to mention it feels a wee bit whackadoodle 

I actually DID do this for a little while, just while we were memorizing the pledge. So maybe a month? But we were particularly just working on learning and memorizing it before moving on to learning our address or whatever. And the flag was a small one on a stick we got at a 4th of July parade, lol. I just stuck it in a jar and set it on the mantle. 

8 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

I could see hanging a flag outside of my home but I have not.  I can not see ever hanging a flag of any sort inside my home.  The only US flag we own is the one from my FIL's funeral.  It's in a display box for tri-folded flags that we don't display.  That last thing is more of a reflection on my husband's ambivalence about his father and less about the flag itself. 

We have one outside - an all weather one - and it is on the garage where we have security lights so lit at night by those. And we have two of the tri-fold display flags, one from DH's father and one from his grandfather, which are on our mantle. 

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10 hours ago, Spy Car said:

The situation is inherently coercive when it is led by adults in positions of authority who tell children to stand and to recite the pledge.

Overlay that with a child who does opt out looking like they are unpatriotic and/or ungodly and that is an abusively coercive situation in my book.

Children ought not be put in such a situation is a republic where separation of church and state is a hallmark principle of our society. That's just basic.

Bill

The courts disagree. Fortunately.

It is also a stretch to claim the words "under God" constitute a prayer but I can't imagine having a productive conversation with you about that.

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Certainly, but SpyCar is right - it IS inherently coercive to have the class led in recitation, and it certainly IS alienating to have the core assumption be that "of course" everybody believes that.

You wouldn't be so sanguine about it if instead it was something YOU don't believe.

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enforced repetition vs chosen reflection

52 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

True. 

But if we, say, all got an amber alert type notice on our phones every morning at 7am and were to then stand and recite our vows to our partner before going on with our day, that would be...odd. Especially for those who are not married or widowed or divorced and have to listen to everyone else say it, etc. 

CHOOSING to say something frequently to meditate on the meaning is different than forced rote recitation. 

I'd much prefer an optional morning flag time out in front of the school for those that choose to get there for it, with pledge and a rotation of patriotic songs. Or a rotation in the classroom of pledge, song, poem, inspirational saying, etc....

Absolutely.

My own not-troubled take on the daily pledge is definitely informed by the particular context in which it's actually done in my particular corner of the world. I've seen homeroom teachers do the first-day-of-school speech where they do make clear that students are not required to say the words (as I think about it, that may well be mandatory under state law?).  And I've definitely seen *many* students -- including young students, first and second grade -- just stand there without saying the words.  I've seen *teachers* just stand there without saying the words (in all three school systems I've worked in, there's a system for school announcements where a rotation of volunteer students go down to the office to say good morning, lead the pledge, and make schoolwide announcements over the intercom... so the homeroom teachers don't need to say the words if they'd rather not).  Not-saying-the-words is common enough here -- whether due to religious objections, political objections, generalized queasiness, or boredom -- and rah-rah 'Murica patriotism is sufficiently minority enough here -- that I really don't think social pressure/bullying to kids who opt out is much of an issue, here.

And that context definitely informs my take. 

(I'm more grumpy about Jesus songs in the Winter Holiday Concert, forex.  I get over it, because manners, but *that* seems to me to veer closer to compelled content, than the pledge is, as it actually plays out here.)

 

re displayed flags

52 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

...And the flag was a small one on a stick we got at a 4th of July parade, lol. I just stuck it in a jar and set it on the mantle. 

We have one outside - an all weather one - and it is on the garage where we have security lights so lit at night by those. And we have two of the tri-fold display flags, one from DH's father and one from his grandfather, which are on our mantle. 

We have an all-weather one hanging from the garage as well, and put out little ones for Memorial Day and Fourth of July.  And throughout the state the towns festoon the main streets with them on holidays or when a service member is returning from deployment.  The US flag does not seem to have quite the same partisan associations here as it does in other states I've visited... which I hope remains true.  From its outset the idea was to emphasize E Pluribus Unum and one nation, indivisible part of the pledge.

(Confederate / thin blue line / rainbow flags: yes). 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

You wouldn't be so sanguine about it if instead it was something YOU don't believe.

Group rituals that don't align with my personal beliefs?

Surely most of us have had to confront such situations!

I didn't find it offensive when I was expected to sing a national anthem of a country I wasn't a citizen of, nor when the Jewish hospital chaplain wanted to offer a blessing of some sort for my newborn, nor in dozens of other situations. There have certainly been many times when I have politely declined to participate in a socially expected activity when it went against my personal beliefs (like, every single time drinking alcohol or even tea was involved!)

Must every social activity or expectation align with our personal beliefs? We would have to segment society into thousands of exclusive bubbles for that to happen.

 

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35 minutes ago, maize said:

Group rituals that don't align with my personal beliefs?

Surely most of us have had to confront such situations!

I didn't find it offensive when I was expected to sing a national anthem of a country I wasn't a citizen of, nor when the Jewish hospital chaplain wanted to offer a blessing of some sort for my newborn, nor in dozens of other situations. There have certainly been many times when I have politely declined to participate in a socially expected activity when it went against my personal beliefs (like, every single time drinking alcohol or even tea was involved!)

Must every social activity or expectation align with our personal beliefs? We would have to segment society into thousands of exclusive bubbles for that to happen.

 

Like you I have lived my entire life non mainstream, so I don't see what is so complicated about declining.  Or allowing others to decline.  It isn't always easy....especially for children in a school setting, to be different than your peers. But that is just how life is.  

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We had a flagpole at our previous house and we usually displayed the flag on the usual holidays -  July 4th, Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, etc. We left the flagpole attached to the garage and left the flag in the garage when we moved. Since we moved to this house in May 2020 we haven't taken the time to get a new flagpole. We're not bothered by it and it isn't a priority. If there had been one already attached to the house we'd probably get a new flag and fly it on occasion, but I doubt we'll bother to get one now.

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1 hour ago, AnotherNewName said:

The courts disagree. Fortunately.

It is also a stretch to claim the words "under God" constitute a prayer but I can't imagine having a productive conversation with you about that.

I disagree that the court's decision is "fortunate."

Forcing children to give an oath to a nation "under God" is a coercive way to impose a belief in a supernatural being.

I'm sure having "productive conversations" with with would be a difficult task on a range of subjects.

Who were you the last times? 

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Pam in CT said:

enforced repetition vs chosen reflection

Absolutely.

My own not-troubled take on the daily pledge is definitely informed by the particular context in which it's actually done in my particular corner of the world. I've seen homeroom teachers do the first-day-of-school speech where they do make clear that students are not required to say the words (as I think about it, that may well be mandatory under state law?).  And I've definitely seen *many* students -- including young students, first and second grade -- just stand there without saying the words.  I've seen *teachers* just stand there without saying the words (in all three school systems I've worked in, there's a system for school announcements where a rotation of volunteer students go down to the office to say good morning, lead the pledge, and make schoolwide announcements over the intercom... so the homeroom teachers don't need to say the words if they'd rather not).  Not-saying-the-words is common enough here -- whether due to religious objections, political objections, generalized queasiness, or boredom -- and rah-rah 'Murica patriotism is sufficiently minority enough here -- that I really don't think social pressure/bullying to kids who opt out is much of an issue, here.

And that context definitely informs my take. 

(I'm more grumpy about Jesus songs in the Winter Holiday Concert, forex.  I get over it, because manners, but *that* seems to me to veer closer to compelled content, than the pledge is, as it actually plays out here.)

 

re displayed flags

We have an all-weather one hanging from the garage as well, and put out little ones for Memorial Day and Fourth of July.  And throughout the state the towns festoon the main streets with them on holidays or when a service member is returning from deployment.  The US flag does not seem to have quite the same partisan associations here as it does in other states I've visited... which I hope remains true.  From its outset the idea was to emphasize E Pluribus Unum and one nation, indivisible part of the pledge.

(Confederate / thin blue line / rainbow flags: yes). 

 

 

 

 

 

FWIW, the MENC statement on religious music is that it can be included only when it has historic and educational significance. So when we're learning Baroque music, it makes sense to include The Messiah by Handel. But there is no justification for having a 5th grade choir sing Silent Night. I do use Jingle Bells as an early beginning instrumental music piece because it is so exciting to the kids to play it. As a private teacher, I do my recital before Thanksgiving, and have a music library for kids to choose what they want to work on the last few weeks. I would say I'm usually about 50% Christmas and 50% something else. 

 

I was so hard lined on not allowing winter programs to be 100% Christmas and on keeping them secular that about half the last school I taught at was convinced that I was Jewish, because they couldn't imagine any other reason why I was so adamant. The idea that I was actually following accepted practice didn't occur to them. 

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1 hour ago, maize said:

Group rituals that don't align with my personal beliefs?

Surely most of us have had to confront such situations!

I didn't find it offensive when I was expected to sing a national anthem of a country I wasn't a citizen of, nor when the Jewish hospital chaplain wanted to offer a blessing of some sort for my newborn, nor in dozens of other situations. There have certainly been many times when I have politely declined to participate in a socially expected activity when it went against my personal beliefs (like, every single time drinking alcohol or even tea was involved!)

Must every social activity or expectation align with our personal beliefs? We would have to segment society into thousands of exclusive bubbles for that to happen.

 

My feeling is that I don't want, as a teacher, the same kids to be constantly having to stand out. I don't want the one JW kid in a class to have to spend half the semester doing alternate assignments because the curriculum is "Holiday, Holiday, Holiday". I don't want the kid who's religion forbids swearing oaths to have to choose between blending in or being in accordance with their religion daily by having a flag salute. I don't want the kid with diabetes or allergies to have to be the one person not participating in class parties....there's a lot of potential exclusion in what passes for normal practice in US elementary schools. 

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1 minute ago, Dmmetler said:

My feeling is that I don't want, as a teacher, the same kids to be constantly having to stand out. I don't want the one JW kid in a class to have to spend half the semester doing alternate assignments because the curriculum is "Holiday, Holiday, Holiday". I don't want the kid who's religion forbids swearing oaths to have to choose between blending in or being in accordance with their religion daily by having a flag salute. I don't want the kid with diabetes or allergies to have to be the one person not participating in class parties....there's a lot of potential exclusion in what passes for normal practice in US elementary schools. 

Thank you!  I see a lot more teachers striving for what you posted above....back in my day it just was what it was and no one really cared if I or any other kid had to stand out.  

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6 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

My feeling is that I don't want, as a teacher, the same kids to be constantly having to stand out. I don't want the one JW kid in a class to have to spend half the semester doing alternate assignments because the curriculum is "Holiday, Holiday, Holiday". I don't want the kid who's religion forbids swearing oaths to have to choose between blending in or being in accordance with their religion daily by having a flag salute. I don't want the kid with diabetes or allergies to have to be the one person not participating in class parties....there's a lot of potential exclusion in what passes for normal practice in US elementary schools. 

I understand that sentiment. I don't think you are wrong to do as you do.

I also don't think it is wrong to do otherwise.

As one who as a child  always necessarily stood out, my perspective is that there can be strength gained from navigating that reality as well.

We can't actually make the path easy for everyone all the time. I am not one who thinks doing so should be a goal. 

Humans need not be so fragile.

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Just now, maize said:

I understand that sentiment. I don't think you are wrong to do as you do.

I also don't think it is wrong to do otherwise.

As one who as a child  always necessarily stood out, my perspective is that there can be strength gained from navigating that reality as well.

We can't actually make the path easy for everyone all the time. I am not one who thinks doing so should be a goal. 

Humans need not be so fragile.

Yes. 

To be clear....some think 'under God' should be removed?  And others are like, 'if it is not compulsory' what does it matter either way?  Am I understanding that correctly?  (asking this of the thread in general not just @maize)

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14 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Yes. 

To be clear....some think 'under God' should be removed?  And others are like, 'if it is not compulsory' what does it matter either way?  Am I understanding that correctly?  (asking this of the thread in general not just @maize)

I personally was just responding to the idea that if an individual personally didn't agree with what was said in the pledge they would probably oppose it. I don't feel I need to personally agree with or believe in every social ritual to accept it as a ritual and either participate casually or opt out.

With regard to the pledge, it seems some like it as is, some want "under God" removed, and some want to discard the entire tradition. I don't have strong opinions in any direction; I do think participation shouldn't be mandated for anyone but we already have that.

We have a very pluralistic society here in the US with few unifying traditions; I do think there is value in unifying traditions, even if they are not universally accepted. Not an easy thing to navigate, but on the whole I favor finding unity wherever we can and "one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" isn't a bad thing to strive towards. So I suppose on the whole I favor the pledge.

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10 minutes ago, maize said:

I personally was just responding to the idea that if an individual personally didn't agree with what was said in the pledge they would probably oppose it. I don't feel I need to personally agree with or believe in every social ritual to accept it as a ritual and either participate casually or opt out.

With regard to the pledge, it seems some like it as is, some want "under God" removed, and some want to discard the entire tradition. I don't have strong opinions in any direction; I do think participation shouldn't be mandated for anyone but we already have that.

We have a very pluralistic society here in the US with few unifying traditions; I do think there is value in unifying traditions, even if they are not universally accepted. Not an easy thing to navigate, but on the whole I favor finding unity wherever we can and "one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" isn't a bad thing to strive towards. So I suppose on the whole I favor the pledge.

I disagree that we have a situation now where young children are not effectively mandated to engage in coerced prayer in a practical sense.

In theory, they might have the "right," but it is not reasonable to suggest a small child can stand against authority figures--who they are conditioned to listen to on school grounds--as the power imbalance is too great. Further, those who opt out can become victims of ostracism.

Children should not be put in such a position in my estimation.

We don't live in a theocracy, and thank God for that.

See what I did there? :biggrin:

Bill

 

 

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3 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

Certainly, but SpyCar is right - it IS inherently coercive to have the class led in recitation, and it certainly IS alienating to have the core assumption be that "of course" everybody believes that.

You wouldn't be so sanguine about it if instead it was something YOU don't believe.

Nonsense.  There are all kinds of group actions taken which individuals don't agree with.  Which is the simple reality of living in an extremely diverse society.  Schools acknowledge cultural holidays (and even birthdays) when some religions don't. Schools allow dress codes which some religions find offensive. Not coercing a minority into activities in which they do not wish to/cannot ethically participate is reasonable (and the law), but that does not mean the majority should be forced to not participate in those same activities.

SpyCar is claiming coercion via authority even where no authority figure is requiring students participate. Arguing peer pressure is an even weaker position.

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re finding (making) space to support both pluralism, and unity, given the *reality* of our diverse population

36 minutes ago, maize said:

I personally was just responding to the idea that if an individual personally didn't agree with what was said in the pledge they would probably oppose it. I don't feel I need to personally agree with or believe in every social ritual to accept it as a ritual and either participate casually or opt out.

With regard to the pledge, it seems some like it as is, some want "under God" removed, and some want to discard the entire tradition. I don't have strong opinions in any direction; I do think participation shouldn't be mandated for anyone but we already have that.

We have a very pluralistic society here in the US with few unifying traditions; I do think there is value in unifying traditions, even if they are not universally accepted. Not an easy thing to navigate, but on the whole I favor finding unity wherever we can and "one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" isn't a bad thing to strive towards. So I suppose on the whole I favor the pledge.

I agree with all of this, particularly the bolded. 

So on the whole, given how the pledge is actually implemented in my corner of the world, I'm OK with it.

But.

The recitation of the pledge has the potential to serve as a teaching vehicle that actually does emphasize the "one nation, indivisible" and the "justice" and the "for all" bits.

Or, alternatively, it also has the potential to become a culture war flashpoint focused on the "under God" bit.

 

Given the timing, I personally tend to believe that the "under God" insertion was intended to bolster the Christian identity of the nation. Another  way to view that same objective is that it was intended to marginalize non-Christians/ non-theists/ non-religious members of American society.  In any event: whatever the intentions then, that *is* the effect of the insertion today.  If I could wave a wand, I'd probably excise that phrase, which separates us, and toss in a few more words that emphasize our unity.

But that said: it's a choice, to glom on to the culture war fracture points rather than emphasize the "indivisible... with liberty and justice FOR ALL" parts.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Dmmetler said:

My feeling is that I don't want, as a teacher, the same kids to be constantly having to stand out. I don't want the one JW kid in a class to have to spend half the semester doing alternate assignments because the curriculum is "Holiday, Holiday, Holiday". I don't want the kid who's religion forbids swearing oaths to have to choose between blending in or being in accordance with their religion daily by having a flag salute. I don't want the kid with diabetes or allergies to have to be the one person not participating in class parties....there's a lot of potential exclusion in what passes for normal practice in US elementary schools. 

This.   I feel like it's totally different for a child that is forced into an environment where they are forced to act outside of the mainstream expectation on a DAILY basis.   

I do also see how in some areas of the country it may not be a big deal and they may not even be in an actual minority, but in other areas it's likely a child is going to experience actual bullying over such a choice.  

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4 hours ago, Spy Car said:

I disagree that the court's decision is "fortunate."

Forcing children to give an oath to a nation "under God" is a coercive way to impose a belief in a supernatural being.

I'm sure having "productive conversations" with with would be a difficult task on a range of subjects.

Who were you the last times? 

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

ChocolateReign.

And it can't be coercive when it isn't required. 

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