Archive for Thursday, September 26, 2013

25 years ago: Recitation of Pledge varies across Lawrence classrooms

September 26, 2013


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Sept. 26, 1988:

As the presidential debates continued to grab the nation's attention, a recent hot topic between Vice President George Bush and Gov. Michael Dukakis focused attention on the Pledge of Allegiance. On the campaign trail, Bush had questioned his opponent on his veto of a bill that would have made saying the pledge mandatory in Massachusetts schools. (Dukakis had responded by saying that he had been advised that the bill was unconstitutional.) In Kansas, a law on the books since 1907 mandated for public schools "a program providing for a salute to the flag at the opening of each day of school," phrasing that one legal expert said was rather ambiguous. Attention to the state law had ebbed and flowed over the years, with the Kansas Supreme Court ruling in 1941 that the law could not be applied to students who had religious objections to such patriotic displays. In Lawrence, students at secondary schools were reported to say the pledge rarely, if at all, while the recitation for elementary students varied by school. Some teachers of the early grades objected to having their students say the pledge because they believed the children didn't understand it; others felt there was danger of it becoming a rote exercise or that there were more meaningful ways to encourage patriotism.


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