The Hillsborough Community College (Florida) Advisory Council did something sensible this week: The dropped the Pledge of Allegiance from their meetings.
At first, they did it to save time, but news reports say there was also a heated discussion about the Pledge’s “appropriateness in an institution of higher learning which fosters academic freedom and structured dissent against authority.” (The group’s chair, Sunshine Gibbons, disputes that report, but doesn’t deny the Pledge is no longer a part of meetings.)
It’s a fair discussion to have, though, because they would have a point. There’s no reason to Pledge that we’re a nation “under God” or even that we have “liberty and justice for all” when we clearly don’t. Making the Pledge a part of a meeting puts pressure on everyone involved to join in. It’s the right move to skip it and more on to business. It’s certainly not disrespectful to anyone.
But try telling that to the critics:
H.C.C. student and navy veteran Brad Richlin also has a problem with the IAC’s decision.
“It troubles me especially as a vet, because there are men and women on a daily basis that are dying to give these campuses and all of us americans, you know academic freedom religious freedom, and they are dying for that flag and what it represents,” Brad said.
Yes, the veterans died so you could show off your patriotism in a forced ritual. That’s freedom.
Let’s hope the council sticks to its guns and doesn’t get bogged down by people who think saying the Pledge matters more than doing what’s best for all students.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)