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snopes
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I've kind of lost track of the status of the legal wrangling over mandatory/organized recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.

Is the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling barring the Pledge still in effect in the states covered by the 9th Circuit (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington), or was it reversed when the Supreme Court ruled that Michael Newdow had no legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of the Pledge?

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TrekkerScout
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This story from the San Francisco Chronicle outlines the current situation. Although the federal judge ruled that the Pledge was unconstitutional, the ruling is limited to the Sacramento area. The Ninth Circuit or the Supreme Court would have to make a decision in order to either expand the ruling or to dismiss the case. Unless there are other rulings, it is perfectly legal for school districts outside of Sacramento to require the Pledge to be recited at the start of the school day. On the flip side, it is also well within a student's rights to exclude him/herself from the Pledge as long as that student remains respectfully silent during the Pledge.
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Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by TrekkerScout:
On the flip side, it is also well within a student's rights to exclude him/herself from the Pledge as long as that student remains respectfully silent during the Pledge.

Which has been so for a long time, since those Jehovah's Witnesses from WV went to the Supreme Court.

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"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by TrekkerScout:
Unless there are other rulings, it is perfectly legal for school districts outside of Sacramento to require the Pledge to be recited at the start of the school day.

Not quite, and that's not what the article says, either. It is perfectly legal for any school not covered by the restraining order to conduct an organized recitation of the pledge. It is not legal for any public school anywhere in the U.S. to "require the Pledge to be recited." And it hasn't been, as Elkhound pointed out, since the JW's took the issue to the Supreme Court and won, about 60 years ago.

Since there is no legal requirement to recite the pledge, public school students who choose not to recite it do not need to excuse themselves, or to be excused by anyone else.

As for "remaining respectfully silent", if the pledge-abstaining student disrupts the class, normal disciplinary procedures would, I assume, be followed.

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snopes
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quote:
Not quite, and that's not what the article says, either.
Not quite, and that's not what the post you responded to says, either.

It is perfectly legal for any school not covered by the restraining order to "require the Pledge to be recited" -- that is, to require that teachers lead a pledge-reciting ceremony at the beginning of every school day. What they cannot do is require any particular student(s) to actively participate in that ceremony.

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Unusual Elfin Lights
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On a short aside, when I was growing up, my father was a Canadian soldier stationed in Germany. A good friend of mine was a French-Canadian whose father worked with the bomb squad at Base Ramstein, an American base. At that time (1986) the schools in Germany required every student to recite the pledge, and even though my friend was not American, he was expected to say it too.

So according to him, he recited with the thickest accent he could muster.

My aside is done.

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NickFun
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I recall reciting the pledge when I was in school years ago. I don't recall anyone reciting it with fervent patriotism. It's just words if you don't mean it.

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EthanMitchell
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"It's just words if you don't mean it."

Sorry, Nick, I'm just trying to parse this. Are you saying that since kids are just reciting the pledge as a rote, mindless excercise, it isn't indoctrination? Or that it's OK to force people to say things as long as you allow them to be insincere? Or what?

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MapMaker
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I know when I was in HS that I did not say the pledge because I thought it was too much like a prayer which I think that has no place in a school system (this was based on the fact that "God" was in the pledge). I also felt that if any teacher gave me a beef about it that I would say that it was my right to not recite it if I did not feel so inclined.

Wouldn't this kind of argument fall under the 1st Amendment?

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noysey
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I can remember clearly learning as a child to say "One nation indivisible". It is hard-wired somewhere in my brain. I also recall the change to "One nation, under God," coming while I was in grammar school. I don't remember much fuss being made over it then. At that point, to me it was just "words" as has been described above. It seems to me that it happened earlier than 1954, but what I may be remembering is my first learning of it without "under God".

Is it possible that the reason it got put through so easily in Congress is that it was done during, or right after the McCarthy era? To have questioned something like that might have put you on a "list".

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