Is school the right place for the Pledge?


Willow Bowen, Reporter

Every day schools around America play the Pledge of Allegiance for their students and staff. The students are usually expected to stand and say the words with their right hand across their heart while looking towards the flag. At first glance you may not see anything wrong with this, but the more you look into the pledge the more you see its faults. Before I start explaining my reasons for why the Pledge of Allegiance should not be enforced in schools, I would like to state that this is in no way criticizing anyone who likes to participate in it but merely stating the faults within it.  

To start, the Pledge of Allegiance should not be enforced in schools because not every student has religious beliefs or beliefs of God. The pledge states “One nation under God.” The reason why this is not appropriate is because in this day and age people should not be forced to say that they are under something that they are against or don’t believe in. Part of America is having your own beliefs and thoughts on religion. It’s perfectly fine to believe in God and to practice that religion, but it’s also okay to not believe in it. Students should not be forced to vow under God every day. If that’s something you enjoy or support you can go to church to hear more about it, but public school is not the place. There is very little room for religious freedom, and that’s not okay. 

Another huge problem with the pledge is the line  “liberty and justice for all” when in fact there is not. On a daily basis many people, especially black people, are killed because of their race. As if this wasn’t bad enough, school systems feed students lies with the pledge to convince them there is “liberty and justice for all.” According to ABC news, since 2015 America’s police system has killed more than 100 children. Often police officers are rarely held accountable for their actions. While the justice system fails to lock away a victim’s murderer, students every day pledge to the lies of justice in our country for our fellow peers. With justice there has to be liberty. Where was the liberty for the slaves when they were being tortured and beaten? Where was the liberty when segregation kept people of color suffering just so whites could be put on a pedestal? Liberty means the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views. If you were to ask someone in the LGBTQ community whether they had rights everywhere, sadly they would not be able to say yes. The pledge has lied to us and it’s time we recognize that in our school systems. 

A common misconception that people in America have about the Pledge of Allegiance is its about our military and soldiers who fight for the country. Even though it seems obvious, the pledge does not say anything about our military. The National Anthem on the other hand is about the people who fought for our country. If our society wants to recognize the soldiers who fight for our country, maybe America should work on putting together a new relevant saying for them. The lies aren’t going to cut it, though, and change in our school systems should happen soon.