Opinion: Pledge of Allegiance, Mandatory or Voluntary?

Opinion: Pledge of Allegiance, Mandatory or Voluntary?

By: Rebecca J.

In the past few weeks, it has been apparent that not every student is standing for the daily Pledge of Allegiance. This observation may be influenced by many factors that have recently changed our people’s view of America. The first initiation for America to reflect on why they stand occurred back in August. During a 49ers football game, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, chose to sit during the National Anthem.

People all over America reacted with very strong feelings toward him and our nation. Some argued that he was entitled to sit, while others fought the value in standing for our country should be abided by every individual. Regardless of opinions, the Pledge was put in place to honor those who fought before us which made the independent nation we are today.

Another factor may be that they may feel discriminated against in the way the pledge is worded. According to Massachusetts State Law 468, “ The history of the pledge of allegiance (pledge) and of Federal case law concluding that recitation of the pledge is a fundamentally patriotic exercise, not a religious one [and] no Massachusetts school student is required by law to recite the pledge of allegiance (pledge) or to participate in the ceremony of which the pledge is a part.” With that said, the pledge is in no way a religious hymn or a forceful action. The law says you are not obligated to stand, but is that what we believe?

You stand for the pledge because you respect all of the brave people who fought for our freedom, not because you lose faith in your country. Every nation will have its struggles along the way, but should you sit because you can’t agree with America’s direction? Or should you stand because you are thankful and appreciative of the independent and united nation we have become?

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