Why Students Should Not Be Forced to Stand to Recite The Pledge of Allegiance

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Should students have to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance?

Over the years, the debate of whether students have to stand for their pledges has been escalating, with various people having different opinions concerning the issue. According to Laura (40), 'people have the right to choose what is right or wrong, or to support what they feel is good and therefore students should not be forced to stand for the pledge of allegiance if they feel it is not deserving.' Some of those who oppose this factor base their argument on the fact that students have the right to choose whether to stand or not and also the country has diverse schools with students who have different religions. Those who support standing for the pledge affirm that if one lives in the US, then he/she has to support it because it is a way of supporting the country. However, considering various factors that come into play concerning this issue, students should not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Religious Beliefs and Diverse Schools

According to Martin (57), the U.S is a country that is made up of people with different religious beliefs, and this means that because their faiths differ, also the way they view things differ. For example, because not all students believe in the existence of God, standing to show respect for the pledge is likely to make them feel uncomfortable when reciting the part that says "Under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all" as this part means that all human beings are under God.

Respecting Students' Choices

Standing for the pledge means that one accepts all parts contained in the pledge Allegiance and also has great respect towards it. However, not all people feel that it is good for them and therefore should not be forced to stand for it. For example, America has diverse schools which are made up of students who are not Native Americans and do not believe in the Pledge Allegiance. When they are required to stand and recite it, they feel that they are forced to do something that they do not like because the pledge has some words which are insensitive to them. For example, if they stand to say that "One nation under God," they feel it is wrong to be forced to stand and recite these words.

Hypocrisy and Freedom of Choice

The students also feel that being required to stand and recite the pledge is hypocritical since soldiers fought for independence to allow people to do what they want and therefore should not be forced to stand and recite words. Natalia (138) affirmed that "some students feel that being forced to stand for this pledge means that the rights which the country attained after independence are not respected." However, the right of doing what they want, in this case, does not mean immoral acts such as engaging in crime. It means their rights to choose between what is right or wrong.

Individual Upbringing

The other reason why students should not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance is that kids are raised differently, meaning that if one is brought up in a family that taught him/her not to stand for pledges probably because their parents originate from other countries where people do not stand for pledges, forcing the kid to stand even if he/she is a native American becomes hard for him/her. This means that standing to recite this pledge should not be mandatory for students, it should be a choice for those who want to.

Respect and Symbolism

According to Natalie (140), standing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance is like forcing students to show respect to the symbol of authority and this may offend some of them depending on their personalities or religious beliefs. Being forced to show respect to a symbol may also imply that they are indirectly subjected to an Orwellian government like the one experienced in 1984.

Productivity and Academic Focus

The energy used to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance can be used to do other productive things because it is not right for students to waste their energy to do something which does not have benefits to their academics (Natalie 136). When students stand to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, the activity ends upon completing the last stanza. This means that they do not attain anything which is beneficial to their main purpose of being in school, which is to study. The energy used to stand and recite this pledge can be used in doing research, completing assignments and so forth.

Societal Issues and Meaning

Also, making students stand as a sign of showing respect to the pledge which says that "liberty and justice for all" is sometimes insensible to the students because there are many factors happening in the society which make the students feel that such words are not worth being given respect (Martin 60). For example, students have witnessed issues of racial injustices, discrimination, and some issues which women experience such as not being given opportunities in society. This implies that being required to stand and recite this pledge is forcing the students to show respect to something which does not occur.

Losing Its Meaning

From the first day of kindergarten to the last day of senior year, learners are supposed to stand and recite this pledge as a sign of appreciating the flag of the United States and the people who died for it. While this may be logic to stand for this pledge on a daily basis, the perpetual standing to recite these words has made most of the students lose its meaning. This implies that for the act of standing to be viewed as a sign of respect to this pledge, it should be a choice so that students cannot view it as something which is too obvious.


From this discussion, there are several factors that imply that students should not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. Some of these factors include the fact that the United States has students who have religious faiths and therefore making them stand and recite words that go against their region is wrong. Also, it is not sensible for the students to stand as one of the ways of showing respect to the words contained in this pledge while in a real sense, there are so many activities that go against what the pledge means. It also does not make sense for the students to waste their energy every day for something that does not have benefits on their studies. This energy can be used on other useful things such as doing assignments, covering syllabus, and so forth.

Work Cited

Laura, Prieston. Parents, Students, and the Pledge of Allegiance: Why Courts Must Protect the Marketplace of Student Ideas. Boston College Law Review, Vol. 52, No. 1, 2011, pp. 43-56.

Martin, Leisa A. “Blind Patriotism or Active Citizenship? How Do Students Interpret the Pledge of Allegiance?” Action in Teacher Education, vol. 34, no. 1, 2012, pp. 55–64

Natalie, Humphrey. Newdow and the Ninth Circuit: What Happened between 2002 and 2010 to Change the Court's Opinion of the Constitutionality of the Pledge to the Flag? Journal of Law and Education, Vol. 40, No. 4, 2011, pp. 132-147.

November 13, 2023




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