Beginning the 2013-2014 school year, Ovid-Elsie High School students are asked to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each morning as a symbol of honor and respect to our nation.
This year, students of Ovid-Elsie High School were somewhat surprised if not a bit shocked when a special announcement came over the intercom the first week of school.
Roughly after classes began the first week of school, Principal Kirk Baese addressed the students and staff, welcoming them to a new school year after the three-month-long summer break. He proceeded to remind them of the privilege of freedom that American citizenship guarantees; and, to honor that, the student body and faculty should be asked to recite the Pledge as a symbol of allegiance to the flag and the United States of America.
Every morning when students enter their first period, we see differentiating attitudes and opinions toward this new rule. A month into the school year, after the idea had been established, we asked the students and staff what they thought of it.
Ryleigh McClung, a freshman student, said that “It doesn’t bother me to say it,” citing that if we could recite the Pledge of Allegiance in elementary school, “We can say it now. I really don’t mind,” she added.
“I think we need more than just a simple thank-you to our military,” said Alexis Field, a senior at OEHS. “Reciting our pledge keeps us in a state of remembrance for those who have fought or are fighting to secure our freedom. Some may find it offensive….but I think that the Pledge should be used in necessary places.”
In his announcement, Mr. Baese reminded us that “Freedom comes at a cost,” and that “By pledging our allegiance each day, we give the brave men and women serving in our military a reminder of our gratitude for what they’ve done for us. Because of them, we are able to receive an education and be free citizens of the United States of America.”
But not all have consented to the compromise of saying the Pledge. Though many agree upon saying the Pledge each morning, several others appear skeptical to the situation. It is not necessarily ignorance, though; even one of our founding fathers felt that it was not “un-American” to forego saying the Pledge. George Washington said that his belief was that you could learn important lessons by not saying the Pledge.
Though some may disagree with either view of the rule, it is purely a fact that we are required to say it. The patriotism displayed in crossing our right hands over our hearts and reciting our Pledge is a symbolic gesture of reverence and respect, honor, and loyalty to our nation.
Despite the slight controversy over the topic, the Pledge will continue to be recited each morning promptly after first hour classes begin.