Local News

Pledge Of Allegiance Finding Renewed Popularity

Posted September 21, 2001 5:43 a.m. EDT

— In these times, when patriotism is soaring, a 60-year-old practice, the "Pledge of Allegiance," is captivating a new audience.

"I say it every morning in class , the whole school says it together," said student Roxanne Becker.

"I'm a teacher at a middle school, and we say the "Pledge of Allegiance" every Monday morning, and I think it's a great way to start out the week," said Susan Becker.

"If you want to be a loyal citizen of the United States, you certainly shouldn't have any objection to saying the "Pledge of Allegiance" and it should be taught in all our schools and spoken every day." Michael Edwards, a spokesman for Veterans of Foreign Wars.

That has not always been the case. Until 1995, Wake County Schools did not require teaching students the pledge.

Edwards said that Charlotte ROTC students he recently taught had trouble.

"We taught the pledge to children who were Ninth-graders, who were our youngest cadets, and many of them did not know it," Edwards said.

While schools do allow the "Pledge of Allegiance," students don't have to salute the flag.

"We do ask that our students and teachers stand and show proper decorum, but we do not require anyone to say the pledge," said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Cindy Jolly.

Wake County's policy says elementary kids recite the pledge daily, middle schoolers, weekly and high schoolers at large public events.

Only half of the 50 states have laws that encourage the recitation of the "Pledge of Allegiance" in the classroom.