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Students refusing to say Pledge!

mc1Sorry, I am a blog whore, I admit it! Today when I was screwing around scouring the net for interesting and educational information, I came across this email. I found it both interesting and disturbing. I have two young children and this has me concerned. Read it and see what you think?

Good Evening Sir,

After reading your many columns, I believe you may be interested in knowing the events of my morning as a substitute teacher in Henrico County, Virginia. It was during my time in a paramilitary fire academy that I grew to become passionate about my country’s flag and what it represents. This is why I’m inflamed at the apathy of the students I “taught” today.
In Henrico county, there are predominately white schools and, of course, there are predominately black schools (for which we receive extra compensation to substitute). Before the class began this morning (at a predominately black school), the morning announcements blared over the loud speaker requesting students to participate in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. With a class of 25 students, I was the only one saying the Pledge. The rest of the students walked around the classroom, sat down, talked, and/or paid absolutely no attention.

After the conclusion of the announcements, I told the class that they had been utterly disrespectful, not to me, not to the school, but to their own country which has given them the freedom to be educated today. I told them politely to stand up and to try again. Only 2 students stood up until I firmly asked the rest of them to at least stand up. The attitudes I received were nasty, especially by two 14 year-old girls who shook their behinds in their seat and informed me they were not going to comply. Only 8 out of 25 students actually recited the Pledge of Allegiance again. The rest “didn’t feel like” doing it.
In my opinion, this travesty should be screamed to the masses. Absolutely unforgivable. Before the class even began, all of the students were brought breakfast which consisted of 2 pop tarts, a bowl of frosted flakes, a carton of chocolate milk, and an apple juice box. If they did not want this, their other option was a chicken biscuit. FREE TO THEM. This was delivered to them in their classroom; they did not even have to walk to the cafeteria! At the beginning of the school year, all middle school and high school students in the county are issued a personal laptop computer to use at home and school. FREE TO THEM. This is not to mention simply the cost of their public education – teacher’s pay, supplies, building, etc. ONCE AGAIN, FREE TO THEM.

Our AMAZING country is not letting these students go hungry, neither depriving them of new technology nor forbidding them to attend school like in some countries. Instead, it is GIVING them a FREE breakfast, a FREE laptop, a FREE education, and FREE after school activities (sports, arts, etc.). Of course, FREE meaning that the rest of the county citizens and I paid for it. Even after all of this, only 8 out of 25 students felt it necessary to show appreciation, respect, and reverence to the country who has not only given them all of this, but more importantly has had its own citizens die to give them the right of “liberty and justice for all.”
If this ticks you off, what the assistant teacher in the room said next will drive you nuts. She informed me that, of course, we cannot make any student state the Pledge, but that I should not even strongly request that students recite the pledge because it may offend the Muslim students who, for religious reasons, do not believe in saying it. I am speechless. There is nothing more to say than that there is something seriously screwed up with this situation and this apparent air of entitlement. These students are completely ungrateful and disrespectful to the country which has given them every opportunity to succeed. By the way, I have yet to witness the students at the predominately white schools behave this way during the 12 seconds it takes to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Disgusting.
I realize this email is probably adding fuel to the fire, but enough is enough. If you have any ideas as to how I can influence change regarding students respectfully saying the Pledge, please let me know.

Am I over reacting? What do you think?

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May 13, 2009 - Posted by | Bad Parenting | , , , , , ,

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