Student campaigns to restore Pledge of Allegiance

Submitted by Freedomman on Wed, 10/06/2010 - 14:17

ARLINGTON, Massachusetts - September 26, 2010 - For the first time in 40 years, high-school students in Arlington, Massachusetts are able to recite, in a school environment, those familiar words: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The opportunity to say the Pledge of Allegiance is the result of the work of Arlington High School senior Sean Harrington, who spent three years trying to get his town's school committee to restore the pledge at the start of each school day.

Harrington says he had a good reason for taking on the project.

"I knew it was the right thing to do. I'm very patriotic, and I come from a patriotic family. I've always been taught to love my country, and I feel that it's a no-brainer. It's just common sense to have the pledge at a school, and a public school no less," Harrington observed.

The senior adds that the pledge means more to him than a simple phrase.

"The pledge always will be an allegiance not just to the flag but 'To the Republic for which it stands.' I think people don't realize that, and it's important that we pledge allegiance to that every day," Harrington explained.

Massachusetts state law requires each classroom to have a flag displayed, and fines teachers $5 a day for failing to lead their classes in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

The school committee, however, was told by the town counsel that it was not legal for teachers to lead their classes in the pledge, Harrington said.

Harrington believes there is more to this whole issue than just saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

"I feel it's a sad day in our country that a person on the school committee would even say, 'I don't think we can find teachers to say the pledge,' which is what one of them said. It's revolting that they would even believe that they couldn't find one teacher who would say the Pledge of Allegiance," stated Harrington.

"Once Americans stop realizing what the pledge says, which is quite frankly, a statement of our duties as Americans. Once we start thinking it means nothing, then it becomes a question of what has happened to our country," he observed.

"I'm hopeful that my work will keep other students from having to go through the same thing I did so we could show our love for our country," said Harrington.