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Pledge of Allegiance

Original post made by Mid -Town Mom, Midtown, on Oct 15, 2007

Why do we no longer say the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the school day in Palo Alto? I guess one reason is, as my nine and eleven year old children informed me, that it "offends some people". Wow? Call me old-fashioned, patriotic, whatever, I'm amazed that this small token of respect to our country has been removed as part of their school day.
Am I alone in feeling this way?

Comments (59)

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Posted by Ursula
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 15, 2007 at 7:23 pm

Yes, you are. We don't want to raise automata who pledge allegiance to a flag.


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Posted by PA Dad
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 15, 2007 at 7:28 pm

MidTown Mom -- this was a big topic of conversation here not so long ago. Check out:
Web Link

Here was my contribution to the debate:

Asking children to pledge allegiance to a flag strikes me social indoctrination of the most inane kind. I do like the idea of children reciting a statement of joint purpose together in the morning, though.

What would be truly patriotic? How about:
"I pledge allegiance to my school community and the national community in which I live. It respects me and I promise to return that respect. I will cherish all life. I will admire people most for the content of their character and the quality of their ideas. I dedicate my work to the pursuit of America's core ideals -- a life well-lived, liberty and justice for all."


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Posted by Jeremy
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 15, 2007 at 7:39 pm

Mid-Town Mom,

You are not alone. Palo Alto has been violating the State Education Code for many years. It REQUIRES a patriotic exercise in home class (first period) that can be satisfied by the Pledge.

It doesn't really matter what PA Dad feels about it. It is the law, and it is being violated on a daily basis. If he want to run a state/national campaign to get rid of the Pledge, he can do so. In the meantime, PAUSD is violating IT'S pledge to obey the state Education Code.


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Posted by Peter
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 15, 2007 at 8:15 pm

agreed - patriotism is bunk.


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Posted by PA Dad
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 15, 2007 at 8:25 pm

Right, Jeremy -- The state code doesn't require the Pledge. It just requires a patriotic exercise. So I don't need to campaign to get rid of it.

What's a patriotic exercise? You tell me. I'd say simply engaing in educational activity is a patriotic exercise -- more so than requiring that my child pledge blind allegiance to a waving piece of cloth, certainly. That strikes me as highly un-American -- and anti-rational in its desire to bully children into a political position rather than inspire them to it. Education has patriotic benefit of helping us grow better citizens. Pledges do the opposite.

I liked what 'Steve' said in the last thread:

"To my thinking the pledge is exactly the message we DON'T want to be sending to our kids. Its message, delivered loud and clear by virtue of the fact that it's led daily by trusted authority figures, is, "You are required to love your country." Loyalty through indoctrination is a tool of dictators and despots; a virtuous nation has no need of it. The message we should be sending is instead, "Your country is worthy of your love, because it's a force for good in the world." When that's true, pledges are superfluous."


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Posted by nope
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 15, 2007 at 8:50 pm

There is no evidence to say the pledge is a step towards indocrinating our children to love our country. I grew up saying the pledge and know plenty of people who do not love our country at this point in time. That statement has no basis. I think that the pledge should still be said because it builds a sense of who you are and a bond with the poeple around.


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Posted by PA Dad
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 15, 2007 at 9:23 pm

'Nope' - There are plenty of good reasons to be ashamed of the actions of the current US administration right now and yet still be glad (and proud) to be an American. So it depends what you mean when you say that people you know who recited the pledge now do not love their country.

If those people overcame the effort at indoctrination that the Pledge represents to think for themselves (and act as critical citizens in the face of an administration that deserves criticism), then good for them. I'm glad to hear that education has trumped group-think. But just because that happened doesn't seem to me to be a valid reason for redoubling the indoctrination!

If we are looking to make a pledge that is worthwhile -- and that builds something positive and American in the best sense of the word, which is what I think you are asking for -- I would argue that we need to change what it is we are asking our children to pledge. Hence my suggestion above.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 15, 2007 at 10:04 pm

PA Dad,

There are plenty of reasons to be proud of our current administration, especially the overthrow of a genocidal tyrant in Iraq and the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

We can certainly to be proud to say the Pledge in our schools.

If those people who have been exposed to the indoctrination of the leftists in this country, the ones who were completely silent when Pol Pot killed millions, and Mao killed millions, and Stalin killed millions and, in fact supported the mass murderers (like Ho and Stalin), and can overcome this inoctrination to realize that the Pledge is a statement of unity and patriotism, then they should have their day.

PA Dad, you can try to down-define patriotism all you want, but you will come up short. Too many of us have paid too high a price to accept your definition.

Give me George Wahington any day... he was not perfect, but it would be wise to pledge our allegiance to his basic ideals...and to the flag that he established that flies over our republic. Give me Lincoln...not perfect, but he fought the great fight to keep the union whole and indivisable. Give me the veterans who have fought our battles. Give me god, even though I don't believe in a personal deity that intervenes in my life (but many do, and I respect their right to do so). Above all, give me liberty and justice for all.


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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 15, 2007 at 11:04 pm

So, Russell, how do you feel if kids say "under Allah" instead?


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Posted by Patriotic Parents & Child
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Oct 15, 2007 at 11:45 pm



My child's 4th grade class says the "Pledge of Allegiance" every morning in the classroom.

The kids enjoy reciting it.

I believe it is up to the principal of each school to remind the teachers to say "The Pledge of Allegiance"

Last year our child told us that the 3rd Grade teacher only remembered to have the class recite it a few times.

In 2nd grade, they recited it on most days.

The headquarters of PAUSD told me that their schools DO recite the "Pledge of Allegiance", but that basically it is up to each school principal to remind their teachers.

When we were overflowed to Nixon school for First Grade, our daughter wondered why they did not recite the "Pledge of Allegiance". The teacher told her that it would be wonderful if she wanted to lead this everyday.

The following text was written by our nine year old daughter before this story (blog) was ever started.

---------------------------------------------------------------------


I think all of our country's citizens should say the "Pledge of Allegiance", the same for those who go to school.

Every morning, I notice that for some reason, not all the classes at my school, remember to say the "Pledge of Allegiance" every day.


When my parents drive me through my neighborhood in Palo Alto, I notice that fewer people fly their American Flags on our important American holidays than in other states that I have visited.

For the persons who do remember to fly our flag . . . Thanks!

I also feel that it's respectful for us to honor the men and women who have served our country, and are in our military.


I wrote down some information for those of you who don't know what our country's flag stands for


What the flag represents:


It represents justice and liberty for all Americans.


To the military, it represents a strong responsibility to protect the people of this land, and to be willing to lay down their lives to serve their country.


For foreigners, the flag represents freedom to practice their religion, freedom to education, and to get ahead in life. It also means liberty and justice.


For so many people living all over the world, it represents a dream of hope that they hold onto in their country, while awaiting to immigrate.


The flag also represents freedom to express oneself; to vote, to protest, and to voice one's political opinions.


The flag represents the 13 colonies, and the 50 states of the United States of America, and all of its citizens who have immigrated from all over the world.


It represents democracy!


From this list, I hope that every American can relate and connect, in a positive way, to the American flag.


The flag represents people's right to vote. It also reminds me of part of my family who served in the country. Is also represents the people who have served in our military.


I hope that Americans aren't connecting the flag to inappropriate things, because the flag does not represent such things, it represents you, me, and every American citizen in this country.




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Posted by joe
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 16, 2007 at 7:42 am

A patriotic exercise? How about reciting the Bill of Rights, or reading the Constitution.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 16, 2007 at 7:49 am

OhlonePar,

Allah...god...same thing.

joe,

Bill of Rights, sounds good to me. Just make sure the Second and Tenth ammendments are given as much emphasis as the First. Consitution...OK, but the Declaration Of Independence is much more exciting.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 16, 2007 at 10:35 am

Russell,
Good point on the 2nd Amendment. If liberals interpreted that one the way they do the rest of the Bill of Rights they'd require all citizens to own guns.
I grew up going to Ventura Elementary School and recited the Pledge every day. That was the only patriotic gesture I ever made back then and it wasn't until I grew up, served in the Navy, saw the world and the rest of the country that I outgrew the Palo Alto environment and its affect on my way of thinking.
That was a while ago though. We even had...(gasp!) "Christmas" parties in our classroom!






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Posted by just thinking
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2007 at 12:14 pm

Richard Stands is probably realllllly depressed about now.

My mother, a CHRISTIAN (don't go there)woman who want me to attend the seminary was offended in 1953 when Congress played with the idea of adding God to the pledge. She thought itwas silly that how the Pledge was practiced was driven, and modified by an infulence like Hitler.
When she was in grade school in the late '30's, the used to point to the flag withtheir right hand. The Nazi thing made them stop.
Odd, don't you think - he didn't control the world, be changed our behavior. (Mom, AND HER DAD, were CA BORN. I am 5th generation. Scares me to be that rare!!!!!!)


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Posted by Hey
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2007 at 1:43 pm

The Second Amendment states, in full:

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Seems that one would be hard-pressed to interpret that into mandatory gun ownership.


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Posted by D
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2007 at 1:52 pm

I don't sign documents without reading them. Similarly, I would not require someone to swear loyalty to something they don't know anything about. I like joe's idea. Everyone should know the Constitution, at minimum. Declaration of Independence. The political theories of Locke and Hobbes. Rousseau, for good measure. Supreme Court cases, anyone?


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Posted by alumnus
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 16, 2007 at 2:23 pm

any school that accepts federal or state money has to obey the law.
palo alto schools therefore have to comply with the pledge and private schools like Stanford need to have ROTCs and support military recruiters on campus.
If schools do not like it they can give the money back.
In fact they need to return the money for all the years they are not in compliance.

we need to defend ourselves from all enemies foreign and domestic.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 16, 2007 at 2:31 pm

"I don't sign documents without reading them. Similarly, I would not require someone to swear loyalty to something they don't know anything about"

D,

In order to become a U.S. Citizen one must take a loyalty oath. In oder to testify in court, one must swear to tell the "truth" (whatever that means). Loyalty oaths are quite legal, and expected.

Hey,

Yes, that is exactly what the Second Ammendment says (and means). I am a perfectly well regulated militia of one, when I am defending my home. I am not required to own a gun, but I am also not prevented from owning a gun.


The Pledge is a unifying oath, and we should be preaching unity and patriotism in this country, not hatriotism.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2007 at 2:39 pm

If we owe no allegience to the country then why does the country owe anything to us?


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Posted by D
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Russell,
...or one can become a U.S. citizen by being born on American soil (ius soli) or to a parent who is a U.S. citizen (ius sanguinis). No loyalty oath is required of the newborn child.
Just because one wears a U.S. flag pin on one's lapel or flies the flag from one's porch or sings the national anthem at a baseball game does not make one a good citizen -- anyone can go through the motions. Without some knowledge of U.S. history and the principles of representative government, the Pledge is just another empty ritual.
I'm not arguing against patriotism. In fact, I'm arguing for a truer and more passionate strain of patriotism -- one based not on blind obedience but on informed choice.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2007 at 4:22 pm

BREATHES there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
'This is my own, my native land!'
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd 5
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim; 10
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung, 15
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
Sir Walter Scott


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Posted by ???
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2007 at 4:25 pm

Just as an aside to this discussion

It is an interesting fact that although the words of the Star Spangled Banner were written by an American, the tune is actually a drinking song from London pubs.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 16, 2007 at 4:49 pm

D,

Does your self-defined sense of patriotism include the right of U.S. men, during WWII to refuse to accept the draft, and to tell FDR to go get lost? How about honoring the coupon restrictions during WWII...why should U.S. citizens deny their own needs in the materials markets (gasoline, butter, tires, etc.)? Without patriotism, those same citizens could have gone their own informed way (the free 'black' market), like you suggest.

Just curious.


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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 16, 2007 at 4:59 pm

So Russell you're okay with your kids saying "under Allah" or "under Vishnu" during the pledge?

I'm not. And I don't think kids whose families who do not follow a Judeo-Christian creed should have to swear to a deity not of their faith.

As for the Second Amendment, if you know American history, it's obvious that militias refer to state militias. Unlike the individual rights, the Second is qualified "well-organized militia". It was really protecting the states against the federal government. You see that kind of military division still in place during the Civil War when regiments were from various states.

The Second has never been interpreted by the Supreme Court as a wholesale protection of the individual's right to bear arms without regulation (after all, it does say "well-regulated.")

It was, however, used to argue against the national draft.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 16, 2007 at 5:29 pm

OhlonePar,

Yes, I am fine with however the god issue is addressed, including just silence. The Pledge, by default, should be offered every morning in homeroom. The teacher should lead it. If the god thing is such a big issue, then maybe noone will say a word. Even though I am not a believer, I still say the words, because it is part of connceting peoples, instead of separating them. I also place my hand over my heart, including when the Anthem is played at baseball games.

Is the Pledge said at Ohlone? If not, what other patriotic exercise is done each morning, in home class, at Ohlone?

The Second Amendment is, I bleive, about to be decided by the Supreme Court. I was listening to NPR, and there was a dicussion about it. The exact issue you and I are opining on will be at stake: Individual vs. state control. Should be interesting.


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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 16, 2007 at 5:42 pm

We have two pledges at Ohlone. One to the flag and one to the Earth.

Don't know about the upcoming case, but again there's never been a case that in the direction of the Second being an individual right. It would be a radical departure from precedent to interpret it so.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2007 at 5:56 pm

OP

Please can you let us know what the Pledge to the Earth is?


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 16, 2007 at 6:17 pm

OhlonePar,

Just to be clear: Are you saying that the Pledge of Allegiance is said every morning at Ohlone?

Second Amendment: Here is the view of Jonathan Turley, a liberal, who thinks the issue of individual rights is front and center. He also brings up the cases before the Supreme Court.

Web Link

The NPR discussion I heard seems to agree with Turley, in that an individual right will be found, but, like all rights, it will not be absolute (similar to First Ammendment). Regualtion will be allowed (no machine guns and bazookas, for example) , but the fundmental individual right will be found.

Time will tell.


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Posted by Old Tyme Mom with Fond Memories
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2007 at 7:33 pm

Do you all remember Congress engaging in a patriotic activity on 9/11 when they all forgot they were Democrats or Republicans and simply remembered they were Americans who loved their country? They proved it by spontaneously breaking into song: God Bless America.

I doubt most of our kids know the words or could participate in such a patriotic activity. How about a daily patriotic activity of singing about America and Americans -- from the very patriotic classics (My Country 'Tis of Thee, America the Beautiful, Star-Spangled Banner) to battle songs, folk songs, and popular songs (This Land is Your Land, Yankee Doodle, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Tie a Yellow Ribbon, etc.). Each of these songs has a story, a mini-history lesson, and they often convey very heartfelt emotions about the country we all love and live in.

When I was a kid we sang at school and in class if not daily, then several times a week, at least through elementary years. It was a way of learning your own culture and developing shared experiences across the land. It was often a pleasant interlude and break from academics. There's something restorative about song, and maybe it would be a way to take just a tiny bit of stress out of the day by adding a tiny bit of humanity back into our overpacked days.


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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 16, 2007 at 7:51 pm

"While the storm clouds gather, far across the sea, let us swear allegiance to a land that's free . . ."

Not only do I know God Bless America, I know the verse in three-part harmony. I went to one of those schools (in the radical Bay Area, no less) where we did the pledge and sang patriotic songs every day.

It took me years before I could listen or sing any of those songs without a feeling of tedium. The only one I didn't feel that way about was the Star-Spangled Banner--we didn't sing it all the time, so it remained special for me.

I don't like simplistic platitude-filled patriotism. I don't like jingoism--declarations that we're the best country ever and we stand freedom, justice and all that. Historically, there's been a lot of talking the talk and not walking the walk. And I think the jingoism gets in the way of our being honest about that.

I don't care about the Pledge. I do care that we keep seeming to do a rotten job we do of teaching history. I care that we do a decent job of teaching kids about the whys and wherefores of our system of government.

The jingoism becomes a form of amnesia. When we talk about our country being about liberty and justice for all, we're giving a pass to the first half of history where it was legal to own people. And I'm not going to get into current affairs, but we're not paying a lot of attention to the Fourth and Fifth Amendments these days.

Russell, maybe the Second will be radically reinterpreted without precedent. It's interesting to me, how little the actual interpretations of the Second have played into the political debate. But that's how things have been lately--it makes me ill that we have government that thinks it's constitutional to torture people.

I guess original intent only applies when it's convenient.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 16, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Parent,

I'm afraid I only say the Pledge to the Earth once a year (squinting at cue cards), so no memorization. We all gather at the Farm the first day of school, pledge the flad, the earth, listen to remarks and sing songs, including the National Anthem.

I've always assumed the Pledge to the Earth dates from Ohlone's hippie-influenced granola origins, but I don't know. At least we're not pledging to Gaia.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2007 at 11:54 am

Freedom did not just drop from the sky like rain.
A free society cannot exist except with the overwhelmingly volunteer acceptance of the people.


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Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2007 at 12:28 pm

Exactly, Walter, hence the irony in the phrase "required patriotic exercise"


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Eric,

I'm glad that you mentioned the requirement of the patriotic exercise. Since it IS required, why is the PAUSD ignoring this requirement?


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Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2007 at 12:53 pm

Dont know, dont care (not my district)-- why are you in favor of taking the meaning away by making it rote? "mandatory pledge" is an oxymoron.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 2:15 pm

Eric,

Like most teaching methodologies, among children, it is rquired, or they will not learn the basic patriotic teachings. It is not oxymoronic at all. Patriotism is not some genetic thing...it must be taught and experienced.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 2:39 pm

OK, so a patriotic exercise is required. Why not make it meaningful? Five minutes each day, the brief exercise could alternate: A lively civics lesson on why citizens need to vote; a discussion of what one individual -- even a kid -- can do to be a good citizen; a chance for the kids to volunteer ideas about what they could do to create a stronger community within their own school. The possibilities are endless. Why waste the time on a mindless chant. Engage those kids -- don't lobotomize them.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 2:51 pm

Joan,

I don't mind mixing it up (patriotic songs, stories of the Founding Fathers, war heroes, Rosa Parks, etc.), but it has to be patriotic, not a simple civics lesson. The State of California will decide if it is patriotic (vs. hatriotic or something else). If the State refuses to enforce its own rules, and that lack of enforcement violates federal guidelines, then the Feds are within their rights to take away federal education funds. I hope that the stick will not be required, but I (and many others) are firm that the Pledge (or similar patriotic exercise) be said in home room, every morning.


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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2007 at 3:30 pm

"but it has to be patriotic, not a simple civics lesson."

By which you mean lobotomized propaganda? Nobody is in favor of this here. Just going to school is patriotic.

No pledge, no propaganda, no false history, no religion, no brain-numbing.






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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 4:09 pm

Citizen,

Is it lobotomized to teach kids the alphabet? Or basic ethics ("use manners"; "don't swear"; "show respect to you teacher")?

Hatriotism is a nihilistic and puerile rant (for example, Michael Moore), lacking in social cohesion. Patriotism is a unifying theme that binds us together to address common threats and opportunities.

Could you please explain what is wrong with the Pledge of Allegiance?

The bottom line is that a patriotic exercises IS required, and the law is being flouted by our school district.


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Posted by alumnus
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 17, 2007 at 4:21 pm


If the law regarding patriotic exercises is being flouted in the Palo Alto School District then action will be taken to ensure and monitor compliance and the appropriate school officials will be held accountable.
Enough is enough!


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Posted by D
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2007 at 4:23 pm

Russell,
The educational process should prepare a child to live and function in society. Literacy and math are part of functioning in society. So are analytical reasoning and critical thinking.
Blind devotion does nothing to help one function in society, be that devotion to a religion, a person, or a flag.
If you feel that blind devotion is somehow more useful or healthier than devotion that arises from an understanding of history and context, please explain.

Also, you might want to look up the definition of "hatriotism"


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Posted by Joan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Russell, We obviously disagree on what constitutes a "patriotic exercise." Voting IS patriotic. Participating constructively in the community (micro or macro) in which you live IS patriotic. You, in fact, define patriotism as "a unifying theme that binds us together to address common threats and opportunities." How is it that you don't think my examples -- voting and constructive participation in one's community -- fit that definition?

I also must say that the word "hatriotism" -- which I suspect is another buzzword du jour of the conservative movement -- is just a silly, meaningless throw-away term meant to inflame, not inform.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 4:35 pm

D,

Patriotism in not blind. Anyone with wide open eyes can see that the United States is a beacon of freedom and opportunity. That is why so many people vote with their feet, and try to get here. We also have sacrificed enormously to provide freedom and opportunity to others. We are a nation that should be celebrated by ourselves. If our children are not taught to love our country, from an early age, then they will just drift...vulnerable to to propaganda of the hatriots.

Why is the Pledage not being celebrated in PAUSD? It is the law, and it is right. It most certainly prepares our kids to live and function in our society.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Joan,

Let me give you a concrete example of patriotism, something quite above civics lessons. In WWII there were many people who hated FDR. Yet their patriotism stopped their hatred at the water's edge. FDR wanted war, he got it, and the patriots followed him into it. My father was one of them.

Today, with very little patriotism instruction, a U.S. Presdient cannot count on a unifying response during dire times, even if it involves a liberation of a tortured country, like Iraq or Afghanistan. Many people, who pooh pooh patriotism (the hatriots), are more inclined to put their personal hatred of the President above national interests. This is not the spirit that won WWII. Not even close.


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Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2007 at 5:08 pm

Russell, lets focus on teaching citizenship instead of dogma


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Posted by Alice
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 5:11 pm

Russell, Your insistence on this nonsensical patriot/hatriot dichotomy undermines your arguments because it calls into question your ability to view the world with clarity -- without the filter of ideology.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Eric,

Patriotism is part of citizenship.

BTW, interesting how you are suddently are interested in what's happening in PAUSD. You are a Mt. View guy, and you step into Palo Alto politics, but when things get dicey (like with the Pledge), you take a dive. Nevertheless, I welcome you aboard :)


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Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2007 at 6:43 pm

Taking a dive?


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 6:55 pm

"Dont know, dont care (not my district)"

Eric, that is taking a dive.

However, I do like to see your posts. Please keep it coming. I would especially like to see you get involved in the Pledge issue (in a real sense).


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 7:05 pm

Alice,

Hatriotism is the opposite of patriotism. It is not nonsensical. Why not use the word? It is descriptive of those who put their personal political hatreds ahead of patriotism. Hatriots can come from the right and left. Yes, of course, it has an ideological component to it, as does any "ism", but that should not prevent its use in political discussions.

The Pledge (or equivalent) is the law. The law is being broken by PAUSD.


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Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2007 at 7:25 pm

well, that's hardly taking a dive! I've actually been around this board quite a while (MV Voice one is quiet), but thanks.

Citizenship is action. Patriotism is action. Reciting a mantra teaches the wrong PART of both- like people who wear a flag on their shirt and say they're supporting the troops, but put their tax cuts ahead of veterans benefit funding (this isn't an accusation, Russell, just an example).

Also not big on the forced religion part of it, as an aside.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 7:47 pm

Eric,

Patriotism is also about supporting those patriots in action. If it means reducing spending on social causes to support the veterans in the VA system, that is patriotic. Don't you agree?

The cuurent hatriot trend is to 'support the troops' but criticze their mission. Ask them what they think about that stance. Might as well ask those Marines at Tarawa or Iwo Jima if they thought their sacrifce was worth it.

Patriotism asks the citizens of the USA to dig deep. It might, as you say, ask for tax increases, but it asks for much more than that. At a minimum, our kids should recite the Pledge. So should we adults.


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Posted by eric
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2007 at 8:42 pm

Cut social spending? Are you willing to make ANY sacrifice, or merely expect others to do so? Especially ironic since vets disporportionately rely on social spending.

Can you imagine if someone in WWII had uttered the phrase "war-time tax cuts"? Show your patriotism! Pledge allegiance to free speech, the constitution, and the great American tradition of dissent and debate-- what REALLY made our country great!


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Posted by SkepticAl
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 17, 2007 at 11:14 pm

Russell writes: "The current hatriot trend is to 'support the troops' but criticze their mission. Ask them what they think about that stance. Might as well ask those Marines at Tarawa or Iwo Jima if they thought their sacrifce was worth it." I applaud you for sticking to your guns and taking on the minority view here. However, I absolutely object to your broad characterization of vocal critics as purveyors of "hatriotism." Almost from the start of this war, and increasingly during the war, we're seeing active duty and retired soldiers and commanders criticizing the war plan, the war's execution, and the bungling off the occupation to protect a newly-formed but already corrupt government and its middling army of militia-loyalists. Are you saying that all those vets hate their country? And though the criticism comes increasingly from Republicans, there are some who try to tell you the war criticism is partisan politics. Isn't it possible to be a patriot *and* believe that our current leadership is a wretched failure? It's convenient for *you* to call it hate - who can argue in favor of hate? - though there's ample reason for harsh criticism and profound disappointment regarding this administration. That's not hate. I'm proud to say I love my country. I'm proud of the injured Iraqi vets I've met and talked to about their service. I'm proud of my family members who fought in WWII and Vietnam and came back disabled. I understand their sacrifice and admire their courage. That doesn't mean I have to keep my mouth shut and bow to our fearless leader - pledge allegiance to the republic, not the Republicans.


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Posted by JustWondering
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 17, 2007 at 11:19 pm

"hatriots/hatriotism"

Who coined that one? Heil Hannity? Small Mind, Savage Tongue? Limberger Cheesehead?

Ain't America great???

NOTE TO EDITOR: If you delete this, you need to delete all uses of hatriots/hatriotism above as well - or you're just a hatriot yourself!


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 18, 2007 at 12:01 am

Any self-defined "patriot" who calls any other American who disagrees with him a "hatriot" has just redefined himself as un-American. America is a place that permits diversity of opinion, by law. Those who can't tolerate that need to go back to school, and take a civics class.


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Posted by PAUSD Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 18, 2007 at 12:16 am

Hey you guys, please calm down!
This thread was started by a mom who wanted to know about the Pledge of Allegiance.
I think most of the schools DO say it everyday.
Principals are supposed to remind teachers. Some teachers who are really busy in the mornings may occasionally forget to say it.
All of the kids that we know, enjoy saying it.
It seems like it is the parents who have the problem here.
When the kids are older, they can express their own opinions.
Please don't bring hate into this discussion.


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Posted by Russell
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 18, 2007 at 7:24 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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