This year at Walpole High School, the Pledge of Allegiance is said every single day in homeroom rather than only once a week like last year. Students have the option to say the pledge or be silent and to stand up or to sit, however, they may not be talking or disruptive during the Pledge. There seems to be no problem with these options, since having the recititation of the Pledge being a voluntary option rather than a coercive one is fair to the individual. Even so, nearly all students do in fact stand up for the pledge, but not because they truly want to. Most students stand out of conformity or because their teachers would like them to. Additionally, most do not recite the pledge, as no one is particularly in the most patriotic mood when it is 7:20 a.m in the morning. As Junior Kevin Curran said: “Everyone is tired every morning; nobody feels like saying the pledge”.
Because of the repetition, most are simply indifferent to the pledge itself. There may be a noble few who still recite the pledge, but either way saying itn every morning is rather pointless because of its redundancy which diminishes its meaning. In other words, the daily reciting of the Pledge becomes routine or insignificant to many students because of the regularality of it. Last year, the fact that the pledge was every Monday morning made it less trivial and more important.
Additionally, just because students do not recite the pledge does not mean that they are ignorant to the good principles for which America stands for. Students’ indifference or dislike of the daily reciting of the Pledge does not mean that they are ungrateful to live in America or hate our country. Some people feel religiously offended by the mention of “God” while modern America consists of many different religions nowadays, some of them even being “Athiest”. Some do not recite the Pledge because they feel that the US does not always live up to its status claim of liberty, equality, and justice, and those are credible reasons in a land of free speech. There is nothing wrong with having your own beliefs and thoughts when it comes to the Pledge, and the school obviously adheres to that idea by letting the students’ have the choice to recite it.
Most often in high school, however, indifference only occurs because the Pledge is annoyingly reiterated into the students’ minds every day. Some students believe the school is trying to promote certain ideals and manipulate the way of thinking in the school. Even if these ideals are mostly perceived by the general majority as good ones like the ones set forth in the Pledge of Allegiance, the fact of the matter is that it is not the responsibility of the school to instill national pride into its students. Obviously, an attempt to try to instill a little bit of patriotism may not be a big deal to some, however, others feel that trying to impose a certain set of ideals into the student body is not a good idea and only creates more discontent rather than nationalistic pride.
Many students’ annoyance with the pledge’s daily repitition, opposed to the weekly repetition in past years, deturbs them from seeing the necessity of pledging allegiance to the country. Junior Bobby Heanue and others agree. Heanue said, “I do not understand why we have to do the Pledge every day”. So why did the school change over to saying it every single morning? According to Vice Principal Edward Connors, the school is simply in “100% compliance with the law” because there is a law in Massachusetts which states that schools have to say the Pledge of Allegiance every day. The law, however, is loosely enforced and the fine for not complying is a mere five dollars a month.
So, what purpose does saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning truly serve? If such a change is an attempt by administration to instill a little more patroitism into the student body, then such a change is not working. Students like junior Brian Hazerjian agree that the daily reciting of the Pledge every morning fails to insert any sense of patriotism or appreciation. Hazerjian said,”over-doing the Pledge diminishes the importance of it”. Again, students are not ignorant to the message the Pledge is trying to convey and they are also not ignorant to the fact that the country has not always stood on its principles. But even a diverse student body has one and only one conclusion: the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance is pointless.
Most students do not hate the Pledge of Allegiance nor do they love it. This feeling of neutrality, however, commonly compels students to generally believe that the daily reciting of the Pledge serves no true purpose. The reiteration of this fact is important, unlike the reiteration of the Pledge, and it does not mean that students are unpatriotic or simply ingrate. It is true that many of us probably fail to consistently see how fortunate we really are to live in a great country like America? Yes, but how can someone know how truly lucky they really are when they have never seen something of worse condition? Saying the pledge on the surface does not make someone patriotic or greatful, rather, taking action that is good for your community and trying to make a positive difference in America is truly a love of country more poweful and significant than the simple recitation of a couple of words.