12 votes

12-year-old daughter to sit during the pledge of allegiance.

After talking with my daughter about liberty, we started talking about the Pledge of Allegiance. She asked if she could sit down during the pledge to see how much liberty she actually has. She's going to standup when her teacher tells her to, but then sit down during the part of "liberty and justice for all".

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My 10 year old ...

stands and only says the word LIBERTY

here is a except from the e-mail i received from her school

Alicia Bottino

to me
XXXXXXX is allowed to say as little or as much of the pledge as she wants. I hadn't even noticed that liberty was the only word she said. Yesterday it just so happened that when she said it, it was so loud that she startled some of the students. She must have misunderstood why I called her name. I spoke with her this morning and told her it was ok. She said she didn't realize that she said it so loudly. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Life is a sexually transmitted disease with a 100% fatality rate.
Don't Give me Liberty, I'll get up and get it myself!

First job of a parent is

Protect you child.


Loyalty to the Country

...was mentioned earlier here.
For Your Consideration...."All This for a Damn Flag":


"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!




..Right back at ya!

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

tasmlab's picture

Congrats! Next step

Next step is to have her sit out of public school altogether. I.e., homeschool

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

I volunteer in school,

and when we stand for the pledge I say my own version. I pledge allegiance to the earth, and to humanity. Nobody notices, but it's what is in my heart:)

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
-Thomas Paine

i like that

i like that

34 here. In first grade I vividly remember making fun of Dulcia

Dulcia was a girl who was incredibly shy and already teased enough as it was. She was middle-eastern and for some reason I remember that it was her father that did not want her to do the pledge of allegiance. Makes sense now, but at 7, I had no idea why she sat down while the rest of us cited the pledge of allegiance. Our teacher saw what was happening to her and tried to remedy the awkward situation by first scolding us, then by asking her to at least stand up with the rest of the class. But it was too late. She was the outcast.

Long story short.

I did not grow up indoctrinated. I questioned authority. I have original thought. Meanwhile, Dulcia was tormented by bullies like me and quite probably did not learn any lesson of any valuable significance dring the whole experience. Nobody even cared about the pledge, nor even cared what it meant, much less analyzed the words, or even took it by its actual meaning. We were kids. We don't care about hocus pocus.

Making your child sit for the pledge of allegiance does not accomplish independent thought. Only parenting can achieve this. Before you torment your child, I recommend you think about it first, before you put them through what Dulcia had to endure. Instead try to fix the school. I would ask other parents to join you in setting up a meeting with the principal to help them understand the potential damage to blind, unquestionable "patriotism.". In fifth/sixth grade I'm surprised they still have them doing that crap anyway. Maybe you can also get letters from local districts who also chose not to partake in pilthy rituals at that age?

Might be an uphill battle, but good luck.

short story short

I enjoyed your long story, truly, much good insight. The short story provided by the OP though, has a different twist. It is not a story of a father prompting his daughter to do anything. As a matter of fact, the father's role here is as a moderator [as if he'd already read your comment before helping his daughter]. The story here is of a girl issuing her own initiative. It's her own idea to sit for the pledge. Ironically, the father moderates the situation by suggesting that she rise and stand [for the most part] with the others but merely sit for the final two seconds, the last five words. The is no evidence in this short story of the girl or her father actually disapproving of the pledge of allegiance in general. The girl is clearly curious about the concept of Liberty. She is a bright kid developing her prowess with scientific inquiry. She has set up her own experiment, and her dad has helped tweak her timing to remove ambiguity of result. As a result she is at least likely to strike up a good classroom discussion regarding the concept of Liberty.

In both stories the child is

In both stories the child is just doing what's expected of them by the parents. I guess its just a coincidence that the young students in question mirror the beliefs of their parents.

There's a long and shameful history of parents using their kids as political pawns in these kinds of hobby horse issues for lawsuits. It's not about liberty, no one is forced to stand for the pledge.

1943 - In West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette (319 U.S. 624), the Supreme Court rules that requiring a person to say the pledge is violating the first and fourteenth amendments. The case involved a Jehovah's Witness student refusing to say the pledge in schools on the grounds it was against his or her religious beliefs.


This stuff was sorted out in 1943, so yeah its old, lame and safe. No one's forced to say the pledge, no rights are being violated. Nothing is going to happen to the kid besides maybe feeling singled out or looked at as an attention seeker.

If you send your kids to free public school you shouldn't be shocked that state rituals like the pledge are carried out. I mean they're learning from state purchased textbooks, state paid teachers, state approved curriculum. If you are against the state, that's pretty much child abuse.

If its a private school, stop paying to send your kid there if you don't like that they have a pledge for the other kids.

short story shorter, science didn't work so let's try math

"In both stories the child is just doing what's expected of them by the parents."

- That is the story of most children. Pick any child at random and you will likely find that aspect in his or her story.

"I guess its just a coincidence that the young students in question mirror the beliefs of their parents."

- All children for the most part do just that, mirror the beliefs of their parents. That is pretty much a given, inescapable, and for me not a problem whatsoever. It is also an integral aspect of every child's story and as such, a relatively uninteresting aspect of this, that, and every other child's story.

Removing all common denominators, what makes this story interesting?

It's not a story about a child being used as a political pawn. It is not even a story about the pledge of allegiance. It's a story about a girl sprouting her own thoughts and initiative. It is poetic here that the subject of her budding initiative happens to be Liberty. It's also ironic that her father's eventual role in the story is that of one who helps in wielding restraint upon the otherwise potentially grandiose libertine.

I suppose its an interesting

I suppose its an interesting social experiment, to see how classmates and teachers will react emotionally to going against the grain. But since the issue has been decided for 70 years legally, it isn't about liberty. It's more of an experiment measuring what force of social disapproval still attaches to sitting out the pledge, at 12 years old in this specific school district. Where I went to school I don't remember anyone standing for the pledge or caring by that grade.

If I were the parent I'd explain to the child that the pledge hasn't been mandatory for many years but that she could get a good glimpse into herd social behavior by standing out from the crowd. The experiment might bear very little fruit with something as mundane as the pledge. If the girl wants to know social disapproval let her just choose any viewpoint from a wide range of politically incorrect choices, and enjoy the firestorm that ensues. That would at least be interesting, novel and risky.

It's entirely about liberty.

"But since the issue has been decided for 70 years legally, it isn't about liberty."

Nothing legally decided 70 years ago is directly about liberty. What was decided 70 years ago is an abstraction, an abstraction of liberty at best.

Liberty only exists here and now. It is only manifest in the present. Neither a child nor I have non-abstract access to what was decided 70 years ago. Perhaps something happened or was decided 70 years ago that in some way effects what we may today access by taking our liberties, but nonetheless our liberties remain experienced exclusively through the act of taking them today, directly.

The girl seeks direct conscious experience of her own liberty as she takes it by sitting down during the pledge as the word "liberty" is spoken. That's brilliant!

She is no longer satisfied merely with stories of others' experience of taking liberty. She seeks her own. That's beautiful!

The same thing that draws me to the Daily Paul of all places, is the same thing that makes me take in this short story and ponder, "Whoa! This is a deliciously precious moment mikeklamecki has shared with us! What a beautiful kid! What a great dad!" :)

I guess if she really wants

I guess if she really wants to confirm that standing for the pledge is optional she is free to do so. I can drive a few miles up the road to prove that I'm not a landed serf. I can not eat my vegetables to prove I'm not 8. I can walk around Manhattan to prove I'm not going to be drafted into the Civil war. As far as doing things that are not at all illegal proves liberty, these are as good as any.

John I can even think of a good experiment for you. Courts have ruled in many places that same sex marriage is legal. But is it, really? That's just an abstraction. How can you know you're really free? How!? That's not enough. You need to experience it yourself. It doesn't matter if you want to or not, it is the principle of knowing. You need to be wed, It's beautiful. I know you can do it!

It's not about you, Bill.

It's not about me either.

It's about a 12 year old girl.

I don't even get the impression that she's trying to prove anything, not fully. She's curious. She's inspired to test her wings, take her first bite from that apple. Sure, she might eventually get to a narcissistic point at which she's consciously trying to prove something, but there's no evidence that there's really that much going on here. She's just curious, investigating this thing called Liberty and how it applies to her in her own milieu. She doesn't drive. She's not facing same-sex marriage. She's 12, sitting in a classroom with other 12 year olds wondering what the words actually mean in that paragraph she regurgitates every day, wondering how they apply to her, and wondering if she should carry a tampon just in case. She's in the age of discovery, not proof. My kids are few years older, and now that I think about it, they seem to have entered and fully established themselves in the age of proof. o_o

If she were 52 or even 22 years old, I might find your glib sense of mockery and dissatisfaction to be worthy of expression here, maybe even slightly humorous. Your prolific display of light sarcasm hits me like a seemingly unending assault of thin wafers from a Monty Python skit. I may explode! ;D

Addressing your jumble of points that have nothing to do with the OP...

"As far as doing things that are not at all illegal proves liberty"

- I can almost make sense of that. I've never personally felt the need to prove my liberty. I only recall ever needing to take my liberty. Whether or not something is legal or illegal has never ultimately been much of a factor for me. At best it may indicate what the norm may be in some particular place or setting. I deal with what is right or wrong, for me. Never is something wrong because it is illegal, but often is the case that something is illegal because it's wrong. Hence, even if I were to attempt to prove my liberty, I would find the distinction between legal and illegal irrelevant. I would regard myself an idiot to smoke marijuana to prove that I am at liberty to do so. I smoked it many times years ago. I didn't smoke it to prove anything, I smoked it to get high, exclusively. I didn't smoke it because it was illegal, and it's being illegal didn't prevent me from smoking it. I had no regard whatsoever for its legal status. I still have no regard for its legal status. I smoke none today not because it's illegal. If it were legalized tomorrow I wouldn't smoke it tomorrow. I purely and simply took my liberty to smoke it when I did. That's what I wanted to do, and I did it. I've had people shove it in my face in recent years, and I took my liberty to decline the invitations. I've never sung a song to prove that I can sing, that I'm at liberty to sing. I simply enjoy singing. I don't need to prove that I can sing to know that I can sing. All I have to do is sing, to know that I can sing and that I'm at liberty to do so. Your sarcasm aside, yes it is narcissistic and sometimes moronic to do things just to prove you can do them, an abuse of liberty of sorts. Lo and behold it is also narcissistic to hastily assume others are doing things just to prove they can do them.

The thing in question is not

The thing in question is not prohibited, so it doesn't involve any restriction on liberty. Should be simple enough.


So your saying there won't be a disruption, there is no problem, and mikeklamecki is not a retard.

lol, agreed. ;)

Cool indeed.

Cool indeed.

I had been sent to the office

I had been sent to the office for refusing to stand a few times, but most likely those teachers already hated me:)

What do you think THE PURPOSE of the pledge is?

I think the true purpose of GETTING KIDS to chant the pledge... Is to build loyalty to the country, make it easier to collect taxes, easier to get kids to enlist in the military, easier to convince the population of the governments "good intentions," and just overall build a "robot like" obedience to "the masters."

ChristianAnarchist's picture

I only pledge allegiance to

I only pledge allegiance to God. As a Christian Anarchist I never say the "pledge". I do stand with others when they say it out of my desire to not "offend" those who I wish to bring the message of liberty to, but "pledging allegiance" to a piece of cloth, no matter how "holy" some regard it is not in my playbook. I would use the same logic to not "pledge" to a country if that was what the pledge was especially since the "government" of a country is a fiction (and I would argue a fake god).

Sorry if this post offends those who feel that "patriotism" is a requirement for living here on this geographical area but I believe all the land has only one legitimate "ruler" and that would be the one who Created it...

Beware the cult of "government"...

Well said!

Our Creator and One True Ruler!

" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~

I stand for the flag

When I honor the flag it's with a feeling very similar to how I feel when I get out of the way of an ambulance.. hope, support and sadness for the trouble they are in.

Daughter of 1776 American Revolutionists


very, very well said.
I'm afraid we are complacently giving up our natural rights faster than our troops can die for them.

Just what the teacher needs.

Another disruption. Teacher's have enough problem teaching kids without another child acting out her parent's beliefs in the class just to prove point. Get a life retard.

Read it again.

[emphasis added]...

"SHE ASKED if SHE could sit down during the pledge to see how much liberty SHE actually has." -OP

Sounds like a brilliant kid successfully learning how to think for herself.

There's so much wrong with

There's so much wrong with this comment. It's not a parents beliefs...it's an individual liberty. Isn't the only real disruption having a teacher impede on someone's rights? I mean how much of a disruption is sitting anyways?

Easy on the name calling. It only shows your dismissive ignorance.

I am a teacher and when I

I am a teacher and when I have a student who does not stand for the pledge I just respect their right to free speech and do not say a word to them about it. There is no disruption at all. There is only a disruption if the teacher tries to force somebody to participate in the government indoctrination program when they choose not to.