Now, times are a changing. Our great nation has become filled with a society of wimps. People who are so bothered with the thought of offending someone that they will immediately stop whatever the offended claims is an "offense." We seem to always be compromising. But along with being politically correct, comes forgetting where you came from and how our nation came to be. One thing I'm sure of, our founding fathers were not sissies. They crafted a constitution that has enabled us to live free, and to be the envy of other nations. They understood the need for government with a balance, and many gave up everything they had to create a free nation.
It seems that most on the Oberlin School board have forgotten that. The educators clearly need some educating, starting with American history. Across this country it’s becoming acceptable in more and more schools to give children birth control pills and condoms without parental consent. They’re counseled on respecting those of different sexual orientation. They are taught to respect other cultures, but what about our own? When will people take a stand in Oberlin and use the pledge of allegiance as a daily reminder of respect for “our” nation, and “our” flag. The Oberlin school board has decided, and arrogantly I might add, that the pledge that could help teach respect for our country, and our flag, instead might offend. I would urge these board members to think very carefully about what their decision means.
Shawn Marsin has been in the thick of this debate with the Oberlin school board. Reporting on the last meeting, Shawn wrote what the Oberlin school boards initial "compromise" was.
"Citing the pledge of allegiance is not a part of each structured school day. However, at least once and no more than five times each month, as determined by the building principal, the pledge of allegiance shall be read over the public address system in each school building. The pledge of allegiance is an acknowledgment of the freedoms enjoyed by Americans, which includes the rights of dissent and freedom of expression. Teachers are responsible for ensuring that in each classroom no student is to be compelled to join in reciting the pledge, nor shall any student be compelled to refrain from reciting the pledge. Any incidence of hazing, discrimination, bullying, or other form of disparagement of a student choice regarding recitation of the pledge will be considered a major disciplinary infraction and will be referred to the principal for consequences.
The pledge of allegiance and the accompanying preamble will be read together on all occasions of recitation of the pledge: "All students are equally welcome to remain silent or to join in reciting the pledge of allegiance; I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
In addition, the Superintendent shall issue Administrative Guidelines to assure that the Pledge of Allegiance and its historical context will be taught at an appropriate level of sophistication as part of the curriculum in each grade level.
To the Oberlin school board members: You either understand the significance of the pledge or you don’t. Writing a sanitized version by removing Under God, limiting the times it can be said, and bending over backwards to make sure somebody’s feelings don’t get hurt is wimpy and half-assed at best. There are however, people like Paula Jones, vice-president of the Oberlin board who does get it. She voted no to the proposed policy because of the changes and believes that the pledge of allegiance should be said not only daily, but in the way Congress intended.
If someone doesn’t want to show respect and recite the pledge, then that is their right. But the arrogance of rewriting a pledge from 1892, that was revised by President Eisenhower in 1952, to something you find more socially acceptable, is a slap in the face to the every man and women who have given their lives for this country. While you read this, someone is dying in defense of our freedoms while you cower because some find it distasteful and you choose the easier route.
Are you saying that it is bad to love our traditions, our heritage, our country, the flag of the United states of America for which literally hundreds of thousands have died? All because a small minority of people objects, the Oberlin School board will again choose to stomp on the traditions of our nation. I’m reminded of a quote, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” It’s time to stand up for right, or little by little, our freedoms and traditions will continue to be eroded by political correctness.
The pledge of allegiance is an opportunity to teach American history. It is an opportunity to teach respect and gratitude for the flag and our nation. Especially in today’s society, when it’s needed more than ever, it would be nice to know that some Oberlin children can also experience that same daily moment of reverence and reflection for the freedoms we enjoy. I love my country, and I won’t apologize for it. One does not have to live here. But I do believe that whether you are here as a citizen or a visitor, respect for our heritage should be expected, as it is in every other country.
Too many seem to have forgotten, or just don’t know, that most of George Washington’s army fought through the winter of 1776 with little equipment, and without shoes on their feet. They suffered sickness and poverty, the likes of which I can barely comprehend. Many of them were just boys. They fought for their posterity, they fought for us. They fought and died for our flag and all it represents.
On Monday I attended the Parma Memorial Day parade with some of my fellow Cleveland tea party patriots. I had the opportunity to stand among veterans of Vietnam and Iraq. As the flag was raised, our hands went over our hearts and in unison we recited the pledge of allegiance. As I began the words “I pledge Allegiance to the flag…” I fought back tears as I thought of the unimaginable sacrifices these men standing in my midst made for everyone of us. I thought of what an incredible honor it was to be with them on that day. Many of them left quickly afterwards to go leave flowers on the graves of their buddies who fought and died beside them. The pledge of allegiance is not meaningless, outdated, irrelevent, or politically incorrect. The pledge of allegiance is an honor to have.
Contact the school board here.