There’s been a battle brewing in Sioux Falls, S.D., over the Pledge of Allegiance and it’s likely nowhere near over after the local school board voted down a proposal on Tuesday night that would have required daily recitations at local high schools.
KELO-TV reported that local veterans have been pushing for public schools to include the Pledge as a daily ritual.
Elementary schools have already been doing so and the school board expanded this to middle schools on Tuesday night. But board members said that mandating the Pledge at the high school level simply isn’t feasible.
“Just the challenge of being able to find a period within a high school day to be able to say it consistently appeared to be a challenge,” said board Doug Morrison.
Others on the board agreed, noting that the high school academic day is chaotic and that mornings have little room for the Pledge.
Before implementing the new requirement at middle schools, the only time that middle and high school students said the pledge or partook in other patriotic activity was during school assemblies, The Associated Press added. This will continue to be the case for secondary school students.
In addition to a lack of time, there’s also the notion that reserving the proclamation for special events leads students to appreciate it more.
“I think there’s more respect for the flag, and it would mean more, if they’re all together in an assembly. Then they take a breath and do the Pledge that way,” said board member Todd Thoelke according to Sioux Falls’ The Argus Leader.
Veteran James Booman, among others, has been on a mission to change this dynamic, working to convince Superintendent Pam Homan that the Sioux Falls School District should make daily Pledge proclamations mandatory at every level.
“I think any kids should be doing that in this country,” he said in an interview with The Argus Leader. “I think it gives them a daily appreciation of what this country is about. There is no reason whatsoever that high school kids can’t say the Pledge of Allegiance every day.”
For now, Booman’s wish won’t be granted.
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