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Principal to Kids: I’m “Personally Offended” If You Don’t Stand for the Pledge

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Skwim, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

    Jun 20, 2010

    If you’re a student at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, California, you may have seen Principal Dr. Ben Dale visiting classrooms in the morning to find out who’s standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. This, apparently, is what he thinks is a good use of his time.


    Dale also used the intercom to announce his distaste for Pledge protesters. A teacher reported his actions to the American Humanist Association, which just sent a letter to the school district:

    … The teacher reports that…[Dale] announced over the intercom on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, that he was “personally offended by any teacher or student who did not stand for the pledge.” Mr. Dale has been going to classes to determine who is standing and who is not. The teacher is concerned that their students’ rights are being violated.
    While there’s no indication anyone’s been punished for refusing to stand, or that any students are even protesting at all, the idea that a principal would pressure kids to stand for a religious, xenophobic, pseudo-patriotic ritual is appalling.

    Students can always remain seated during the Pledge. No one has to say it. In fact, it’s a waste of time for schools to even bother with it. But what Dale is doing crosses all kinds of legal boundaries.

    Says AHA attorney Monica Miller:

    Students at Manhattan Beach Unified School District schools do not deserve to be mistreated merely because they choose to exercise their constitutional rights. Based on the above, we demand the following written assurances: (1) That all students and teachers in your school district be advised that students may stay seated for any Pledge exercise at the school; (2) That teachers and administrators be instructed that under no circumstances should they attempt to persuade students to refrain from exercising the right to nonparticipation, question students as to the reason for nonparticipation, or characterize opting out as misconduct or otherwise wrongful; and (3) That no disciplinary or other retaliatory measures of any kind will be directed toward any student or teacher for nonparticipation in the Pledge exercise.
    The school has one week to respond.

    How the hell does someone become principal with no awareness of why students might want to sit out the Pledge ritual? How little do you have to care about students that you seek out the ones who understand the Pledge in order to coerce them to stand anyway?

    The irony is that Dale himself says his personal philosophy is to “make school a place where everyone can enjoy success” and to make sure “everyone here feels part of our family.”

    He should take his own advice.

    #1 Skwim, Sep 21, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

    Apr 11, 2005
    God is in the Rain
    Considering pledges and anthems and such are pretty common, and a token of national pride, it's hard to describe it as pseudo-patriotic because it is patriotic, and I wouldn't say it's xenophobic. Rituals overall are pretty silly, but neurotypicals like them.
  3. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

    Mar 7, 2009
    Zen Buddhism
    It's interesting that the pledge originated and was authored by a Christian socialist named Francis Bellamy in 1892.

    Published in the, "Youth's Companion" in September 1892, the pledge went alongside with the campaign to sell the American flag to every school as part of the magazine's promotion.

    That gave life to the schoolhouse flag movement, and the rest of course is history .

    The original pledge went like this....

    "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all".

    Short simple and sweet.

    Who would have thought that the pledge started out as part of a magazine promotion?

  4. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

    Apr 20, 2014
    I find the American pledge fascinating. It reminds me of Starship Troopers. This weirdly fascist like ritual. Of course national pride is something everyone is indoctrinated to participate in. With national anthems and such.
    But only America seems to give a damn what people do during such rituals. Which always confused me. Isn’t a core principle of America personal freedom?
    I’ve honest to god heard people say to me burning the flag is their god given right. Which I agree with, provided you bought the thing. So wouldn’t sitting during the pledge technically fall under free speech? Or am I misunderstanding Americastan politics again?