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Substitute Harasses Kid Who Won't Say Pledge

flagA substitute teacher told a little boy who didn’t want to say the Pledge of Allegiance that he should stand up and do it anyway. After several days of the same scenario, Jay and Laura Philips said their kid had had enough.

He talked back to the substitute and landed in the principal’s office. They’ve reprimanded him for the backtalk, but they’re still pissed. And you can’t blame them.

They say their ten-year-old didn’t want to say the words “liberty and justice for all” because he thinks they’re a lie in light of current standards for gay rights. He’s right, although I’m always iffy on political speak out of the mouths of kids – they have the right to their own opinions, granted their parents like them form their OWN opinions.

Whether he believes the words or not is irrelevant. The rote repitition of the Pledge of Allegiance has irked me since I started to realize what I was saying in high school – I was letting out a string of words meant to proclaim patriotism . . . without an inch of passion behind them. It’s not far off my feelings about the prayers we said in church as a child – they lacked oomph when you could mumble along half asleep simply because the words were ingrained in the brain.

Want to raise kids who love this country? Let them pick apart the pledge, the Star Spangled Banner and others and decide if they resonate with them. If they don’t, let it go. That’s the free country they’re growing up in.

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