Atlanta Charter School Eliminates Pledge of Allegiance Due to Student Protests August 9, 2018

Atlanta Charter School Eliminates Pledge of Allegiance Due to Student Protests

The Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School in Georgia announced this week that students would no longer begin each day with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

They’ll say a school chant, and work on writing another kind of pledge that all the students can be proud of, but the purely symbolic act of faux-patriotism is no longer a part of the morning routine.

The reason for eliminating the ritual has everything to do with how the Pledge has become politicized, with students refusing to say it (or stand for it) for a variety of reasons. To their credit, administrators listened to the kids.

Here’s the school’s elementary campus president Lara Zelski:

One change that we made to our morning meeting agenda this year is that we will not be including the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. Students will continue to lead the meeting by asking our community to stand to participate in our Wolf Pack Chant together. Students will also be given the opportunity to say the pledge at another point during the school day within their classroom. This decision was made in an effort to begin our day as a fully inclusive and connected community. Over the past couple of years it has become increasingly obvious that more and more of our community were choosing to not stand and/or recite the pledge. There are many emotions around this and we want everyone in our school family to start their day in a positive manner. After all, that is the whole purpose of our morning meeting.

Look at that: Passive resistance led to a real change.

It’s absolutely the right move. If any other country made kids pledge an oath to their flag every day in school, we’d call it a form of brainwashing. True patriotism doesn’t require daily pledges — and that’s especially true when we live in a country where “liberty and justice for all” is only aspirational, not the status quo.

This Reddit comment speaks volumes:

To be clear, the school is fine with this. The kids are fine with it — which is why the change is being made at all. (And even if students disagree, they’ll have the opportunity to say the Pledge later in the day.)

If you hear any complaints, they will only be coming from outside critics who think forced “patriotism” belongs in every school no matter what.

May other schools follow in this one’s footsteps.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)

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