Policies for Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in Schools

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

Many students start their school day by reciting the pledge of allegiance, but Monday, two students at a local high school who protested because their school did not say the pledge every day.

West Virginia and Ohio have different policies when it comes to reciting the pledge in schools.

"I think it should be mandatory," Dave Meadows, a civics teacher at Parkersburg High School, said.

Meadows agrees with West Virginia's policy that the pledge of allegiance is to be recited every morning by every school.

"The very first words are good morning staff and students. Please stand for the pledge of allegiance," Ralph Board, Parkersburg High's principal, said.

In Ohio, the decision is left up to the local school districts.

And Monday at Warren High School, two brothers, Robert and Kenneth Grady chained themselves to the flag pole to protest their school not saying the pledge every day.

"It teaches citizenship. This country was founded on people that gave up their lives so we can be free. We can be free to speak our minds. We can be free to say our own beliefs," Board said.

But not all beliefs go along with the pledge of allegiance; therefore, in West Virginia, not all students are required to recite it.

"We have students that stand and choose not to and that's fine. One interesting thing is the foreign exchange students, watching them as they stand and kind of nervously move around and that's something that we don't often consider," Meadows said.

A reminder that Americans' freedom of choice, a concept so envied by others around the world may be just as important as the pledge that most Americans know by heart.

Principal Dan Leffingwell of Warren High School where the two students protested says that not saying the pledge every day was just a misunderstanding and that it is now recited on a daily basis.

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  • by Rick Location: RENO on Oct 30, 2008 at 06:08 AM
    It sure looks as though the school board is trying to set an example by punnishing these fine young men for 10???? days.How dare they prorest in peace. How dare they miss one day of scool for what the trust was their right to freedom of speech.SOCAILISM is on the horizon sounds like they maybe OSAMA supporters since he to will not pay respect to our nations symbol of freedom and justice for all.THERE WAS NO JUSTICE IN THIS CASE.SHAME ON THE BOARD AND PRICIPAL OR ANYONE ELSE INVOLVED WITH GIVING THESE TWO YOUNG MEN AN EXTENDED PUNNISHMENT FOR BEING GREAT AMERICAN CITIZENS.
  • by Student Location: WHS on Oct 29, 2008 at 03:50 PM
    I think that what they did shows that they didn't pay attention in class, and everyone saying that Mr.Leffingwell in not doing his job. You don't know him and you don't talk to him everyday. They didn't get 10 days suspension for protesting, in fact Mr.Leffingwell told them he was proud of them for sticking up for their country, they got 10 days for not going back to class after it was taken care of. What thay did looks bad on Warren it says that we don't care about our country.. 10 days is not enough for embarrassing our school and got the attention they were looking for. It's in the Past it is all fixed, forget about it and move on.
  • by Warren High School Student Location: Vincent on Oct 29, 2008 at 01:35 PM
    And leslie, yes, your allowed to protest. It's freedom of speech. However, YOU should of listened in civics class. You have freedom of speech, but you must suffer the consequence if your breaking a law. And the law they broke is in school truancey. It's called civil disobediance. 10 days is not too much.
  • by Warren High School Student on Oct 29, 2008 at 01:32 PM
    Unlike, many of the ignorant poeple who posted a comment, I actually go to Warren High School. It is ridiculous that people are making a big deal out of this. The boys just wanted their 15 minutes of fame. And they got it. Mr. Leffingwell is an outstanding principle and made the right decision. Many people don't realize that the boys didnt approach Mr. Leffingwell about the problem. They just chained themselves to the flag pole like 2 idiots. Mr. Leffingwell approached them and told them that we would say the pledge everyday starting tomorrow. He also stated that the flag would be replaced. It took 5 minutes to fix the problem. What they did was not courageous at all. If anything it was ignorant. I don't understand why people are "proud" of these boys. Mr. Leffingwell even told them that if they got to class, they would not be punished. And guess what, they stayed. They chose to recieve the 10 day suspension. Mr. Leffingwell gave them many chances. They deserved it.
  • by leslie Location: pbrg on Oct 29, 2008 at 12:24 PM
    Burgandy, they had every right to protest. You need a history/civics lesson. Regardless of whether the boys took it too far, - 10 days is too much. Someone mentioned earlier about fighting in school. 3-5 days is usually the norm. Again, 10 days is too much.
  • by Joe Location: WLS district on Oct 29, 2008 at 12:06 PM
    Although the boys had a valid concern their actions were inappropriate. They should have talked with the principal first. They were just grandstanding.
  • by Nathan Location: Vincent on Oct 29, 2008 at 11:14 AM
    Ok people understand this I am a Warren High School student. What they did was inappropriate and uncalled for. I am patriotic and love this country and its traditions. But if they would of simply gone to Mr. Leffingwell and asked he would have understood and followed through and replaced the flag. I love my school and these boys have shown our school in a horrible light. This is getting too out of hand. Come on, that day we got flags in to replace it. What I don't get is that even after Mr. Leffingwell said he would do everything they stayed. Honestly they got what they wanted. They stayed for the attention there is no other reason. The reason they were suspended was truancy. They skipped all their classes that day. Once they were warned for 5 hours they wouldn’t leave they were suspended. If they would have stopped sooner only a detention or in school suspension is all they would of had. But honestly people my school is very patriotic and we love our country. I love it and always will.
  • by Burgandy Location: WHS on Oct 29, 2008 at 10:30 AM
    First of all, all of you "Pro-American" people commenting this are idiots. They had no right to protest. Perhaps if they had actually ASKED the faculty about the situation before taking such rash and stupid action there would have been no need to protest. Also, their demands were met at 8:05 that morning. Did they unchain themselves and go back to classes? No. Instead they remained chained to flag pole until 1:30 that afternoon. They were not suspended for protesting the condition of the flag or the right to say the pledge, instead they were suspened for civil disobedience and remaining chained to the flag pole FIVE hours after their demands were met. So, if you think these boys are real "Americans" then I guess the deffinition of being a "real american" is being stupid...
  • by morgan coe Location: vincent, oh on Oct 29, 2008 at 09:57 AM
    Today we had an assembly where Mr.Leffingwell explained exactly what happened. First, if the boys would have said something, he would have happily got a new flag and said the pledge everyday. Second, Mr. Carter and Mr. Leffingwell gave them plenty of chances to unchain theirselves from the pole and go back to class with little or no cosequences. I know for a fact Mr.Leffingwell had said in the first 10 minutes that he would agree to what the two boys had asked of. My point is all they wanted was attention.
  • by WHS Student Location: Warren on Oct 29, 2008 at 09:49 AM
    As I see it, these boys were both right and wrong. Here's a fact not many people know; they didn't even confront the administation about the issue before chaining themselves. I appauld my fellow classmates for taking a stand for what they believe in, but I think a better route would of just been to confront the administration before acting in such a hasty manner.
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