Students should stand for the Pledge of Allegiance

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Students should stand for the Pledge of Allegiance

Elementary school students stand for the Pledge. Many WJ students did the same when they were in Elementary school, but most don't stand anymore.

Elementary school students stand for the Pledge. Many WJ students did the same when they were in Elementary school, but most don't stand anymore.

Photo courtesy of Mountain Home Air Force Base

Elementary school students stand for the Pledge. Many WJ students did the same when they were in Elementary school, but most don't stand anymore.

Photo courtesy of Mountain Home Air Force Base

Photo courtesy of Mountain Home Air Force Base

Elementary school students stand for the Pledge. Many WJ students did the same when they were in Elementary school, but most don't stand anymore.

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Every morning during second period, WJ students tune into the morning announcements with their eyes fixated on the screen, listening to every sound with such focus and intensity. Ok, not really.

Students are fixated on a screen — only it’s their iPhones — and they do listen to something intensely — only it’s their music. All this is fine; I do it as well. To be quite honest, a lot of the news on the morning announcements is unnecessary.

What should be paid attention to every day is the Pledge of Allegiance. However, most students remain seated, barely even noticing that the Pledge is playing.

In my class, almost no one stands. It’s just me and maybe two other students. Not standing for the Pledge has become the norm at WJ and that’s not a good thing.

Like most teachers, my second period teacher stands during the Pledge, but does not force students to do so. However, she was a bit appalled that students didn’t even stand on Veterans Day.

“It’s Veterans Day!” she exclaimed. “Not even on Veterans Day?”

Not even on Veterans Day. Frankly, it shouldn’t have mattered that it was Veterans Day; standing for the Pledge should be routine for every student.

Why don’t students stand for the Pledge? It’s doubtful that students don’t stand because they dislike this country. They’re probably just not paying much attention or they’re scared because very few other people stand.

This is lazy and a bad mindset. It can be quite hard — there does seem to be a lot of peer pressure not to stand. I didn’t stand my freshman year or beginning of sophomore year. Again, no one else stood and I thought everyone would give me a hard time if I decided to stand. During the second semester of sophomore year I just said screw it. I wanted to stand and that’s all that mattered. I felt good about it. It didn’t feel weird at all, and I wasn’t alone. A very good number of students stood in that class: maybe 7 out of 30. Yes, that’s a very high number for a WJ class.

What is most concerning is that it is now countercultural to stand for the Pledge. Essentially, by being patriotic, you’re considered a rebel. This is not an attitude that should be instilled into any American citizen, especially us, the next generation of voters who can make a difference in this country.

The Pledge is maybe 20 seconds long. Every WJ student can take those 20 seconds to respect and give back to a country that gives so much to its citizens. Yes, things haven’t always been perfect and still aren’t today, but it’s because of the principles that this country was founded on that we’ve been able to fix horrible mistakes such as slavery, and expand rights to minorities. Through it all, the US is a country that gives “liberty and justice for all.” So much liberty, in fact, that no one can force you to stand for the Pledge. So there’s a reason to stand, if you feel like you don’t have one.

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