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I pledge allegiance…or do I?

It’s a new school year, but an old fight is fast becoming the title bout in American classrooms. Teachers and administrators around the country are perplexed once again over the Pledge of Allegiance. The courts have consistently ruled that students have the right not to recite the pledge in public schools. But now some First Amendment advocates are taking it one step further, arguing that the law compels educators to inform kids at the beginning of school that the decision is entirely up to them. They’re advocating a “Miranda warning” for the Pledge — an administrative notice to students that they have the right to remain silent. ’The Pledge of Allegiance creates a constitutional problem. You have to tell students they can opt out,’ the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, is quoted as saying. New Mexico dealt with this question last month when its education secretary upheld that students are permitted to opt out of the Pledge, but rejected an ACLU-backed amendment that would require schools to inform parents and students that they have the option. In Florida, schools have tried to resolve uncertainty by announcing a new policy ‘” students don’t have to participate, as long as they have a letter from Mom and Dad. These are just the latest in a litany of challenges to the Pledge and its place in the classroom. But what does this mean? Is socialism, communism and big government seeping into our classrooms via political talking heads? Do students even care? What do you think? GO! PS – The history of the Pledge can be found here

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