Written by Rebecca Whitnall
At the beginning of the school year throughout the Peninsula and California, students start a daily routine that will be with them through May or June. For many, the school day will begin by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance — a tradition that goes back generations. But that isn't true for all California students.
In California, as is
the case with most states, classrooms in public
schools are required to offer "patriotic exercises." The
education code says, "The giving of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America shall satisfy the requirements of this
section," but doesn't outline what else constitutes patriotic exercises.
Some teachers and schools choose another patriotic exercise to be more inclusive to their students, whose religions might prohibit them from reciting the pledge or who don't believe in a god at all and feel the inclusion of "Under God," added to the Pledge in 1954, excludes them.
The issue of requiring the recitation of the Pledge has surfaced nationally in recent times. Earlier this year, a state lawmaker in Arizona introduced a bill to require students to recite the pledge. Other states including Oregon and Nebraska have had discussions on whether to require the pledge in schools.
Tell us: Should all students be required to recite the pledge? Should schools be required to offer it? Tell us what you think in the comments area below.