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The Current

Have we been neglecting the Pledge of Allegiance?

History Teacher Jim Nieto is one of the few teachers at Bear River that has their class recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Photo by Bella Ferrari.

The Pledge of Allegiance is a symbol of the United States that I, along with many other Bear River students, agree should still be said on a daily basis.

In our elementary and middle school years, we almost all have memories of saying the pledge every morning at the start of the day. However, when we came to high school, this morning ritual was discontinued.

Freshman Emma Gawley commented on whether she thinks the pledge should be required.

“Yes, because it’s important to our country,” she said.

Fellow Freshman, Alexander Hartman, elaborated on Gawley’s statement.

“I think it should be said every day so that people really understand what America’s about, because, if people aren’t patriotic to this country, and they don’t like this country as a whole, then this country is going to, one day, fall apart,” he said.

Christopher Roberts, Bear River’s Principal, had a very strong opinion favoring the pledge.

“I’m a very patriotic person,” he said. “Both my grandpas, along with other family members, have served in the military. I know what the cost of freedom has been and continues to be. I’m thankful to live in this country and grateful for the land we live in. Saying the pledge daily reminds me of that gratitude and helps me remember those that have passed on and those that have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

He continued to state whether he feels students respect it.

“Unfortunately, they don’t,” he said. “I remember right after the tragedy on September 11th, in New York, the country really rallied around one another and patriotism was the strongest that I can remember. I think it’s unfortunate that it takes a tragedy to bring us closer together as a nation and make it more socially acceptable to be patriotic. I think we’ve become complacent as a nation, and allowed perceptions and opinions to skew those things that once made our country great.”

I feel that students at Bear River do somewhat ignore the Pledge, when they shouldn’t. I agree with Mr. Roberts that it is a huge sign of our country and shows respect for the people who have fought to make our country as free as it is.

Hartman also feels it is underappreciated.

I think it is because I’ve never had a teacher make anyone say the Pledge of Allegiance yet during my first year here [at Bear River],” he said.

Freshman Ryan Cleere had a similar opinion, though speaking for the National Anthem rather than for the Pledge.

“There’s a lot of conflict around it, like with the whole thing with people kneeling for it, but I still think that it’s a bit underappreciated because the things that it stands for are taken for granted,” he said.

When asked if not saying the Pledge was considered disrespectful, opinions differed.

“I don’t know about disrespectful, but I would definitely stand for it and say it everyday if it did come back,” said Cleere.

“No, because some students believe against it,” Gawley said.

“It’s a little disrespectful, it is America,” said Hartman. “We should like our country because America has good values like freedom and rights of speech.”

I believe that Americans need to be a bit more respectful of the Pledge. I understand the fact that people don’t want to say it for their personal reasons, but, also, as an American citizen, it’s only kind to respect the country you live in.

“I firmly support our First Amendment rights,” said Mr. Roberts. “Just as my grandpas fought for our country, they also fought for us to be free. Which means that people have the right to stand, or not stand, during the Anthem and the Pledge. People have the right to say, or not say, the Pledge of Allegiance. I don’t find it disrespectful when people don’t say the Pledge or stand for the Anthem.”

That said, he had some clarifications to make. 

“I say that with one caveat,” he said. “If you’re choosing to not say the Pledge, not stand during the Pledge or National Anthem, please make sure you’re doing it for the right reason. Don’t do it to jump on a bandwagon or support a cause you have no knowledge of or don’t support. At the same time, please respect those that choose to not participate.”

The students all agreed that the last time they had to say the Pledge was in eighth grade, which is the same for me.

Hartman had another thing to add.

“The Pledge of Allegiance is an important part of the United States,” he said. 

Personally, I think the pledge should be more respected and brought back into Bear River’s morning routine.

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Have we been neglecting the Pledge of Allegiance?