SHS Students and Staff take on the Pledge of Allegiance

Scappoose High School students views on respectfulness during the Pledge of Allegiance

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SHS Students and Staff take on the Pledge of Allegiance

Aurora Stanley

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In recent years U.S. youth have become more and more politically inclined as Generation Z has began to enter the political forum, with many of their choices, such as some choosing to not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance to advocate for social equality, being called under fire. 

Back in mid-February an African American eleven year old student at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Fl was arrested due to an argument with a substitute teacher after he choose to not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, due to his belief that the school was racist. Lakeland police say he was arrested for “disruption of a school facility and resisting an officer without violence”, with the disruption being him choosing not to stand.

This called to mind similar questions for American students as when Colin Kaepernick chose not to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance as a similar protest. Students wondered just how much of their right to free speech and peaceful protest they lost when they walked through the school doors, and why the Pledge of Allegiance is even still done in schools.

When asked if she stood for the Pledge of Allegiance and why SHS Sophomore Taylor Lihs said “I do stand for the Pledge of Allegiance because I like to respect everybody that sacrifices their life and has sacrificed their life and their time into our military, so I like to respect them and their families.”

Historically there is no denying this. Thousands of people have fought and died for our nation and for just causes, just as thousands have died from the unjust causes of out nation. But does not standing for the pledge of allegiance really mean that you are not respecting our troops, or does it mean that you do not respect certain aspects of our government?

When asked if students should stand for the Pledge of Allegiance SHS senior and Salutatorian Audrey Demeaux said “Well it says ‘under God’ so I would say that I wouldn’t stand for religious reasons. But as an American citizen it’s your responsibility to stand and show respect for your country. It’s a civic duty everyone should uphold. If you want my true feelings I think you should stand, but I do not think you should be forced. It’s a personal choice. And the pledge is not legally binding, as it is performed in schools. So it doesn’t mean anything, legally, whether you stand or not. You can be a law-abiding citizen that has loyalty to America and not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, it’s just something of custom and culture. So if you choose not to do it in school or in any other place where it’s informally asked of you there’s no reason why you should be made to change.”

Now without a doubt the majority of people in Scappoose, and in America stand for the flag. They will stand, whether it be out of civic duty, personal philosophy, peer pressure, or just because it is what they have always done. What it comes down to is how it is handled in schools. We have seen this in Scappoose, and while Audrey stands for the pledge there are various other reasons she mentioned that make people not. As Scappoose grows and becomes more diverse it can be expected for more problems to arise than the stray student or two remaining seated.