Daily dose of patriotism

State amendment requires schools to give students the chance to recite the pledge each day.

During the 2014-2015 school year, 886,423 students attended publicly funded schools in Missouri.

Within Amendment 638, the Missouri House of Representatives passed House Bill 1750, Aug. 29. House Bill 1750 states that the Pledge of Allegiance must be recited at least once per day at schools supported by public funds.

Well over half a million students now have the option to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at least once per day at school, not including students in the 43 other states that have similar laws.

Students from different high schools throughout RSD met with Mr. Shane Roden, Missouri District 111 Representative and House Bill 1750 sponsor, and discussed the bill and the Pledge of Allegiance, Oct. 6.

“The Pledge of Allegiance unites us as a whole,” Mr. Roden said. “It is one nation coming together.”

Students throughout high schools in Missouri recited the pledge weekly for the past several years. Now, students have the option to recite it daily.

“Personally, reciting the pledge each day doesn’t bother me. I stand up, I say it, I cross my hand over my heart,” Summer Andrews (11) said. “Some of my friends don’t stand up, but it’s just 30 seconds. It doesn’t affect me. I’m just doing what my parents taught me to do and stand up.”

While voting was limited, a EHS-hub poll reflects a divide over reciting the pledge each day.

“It’s good to an extent,” Madysen Hahn (12) said. “I feel like it’s good that we do it, but we don’t need to do it every day.”

Hahn is not alone in her sentiments.

“I feel like I’m very patriotic. I am one of the guys that stops for National Anthem during football games, and it drives me nuts when kids are running around when the anthem is on. However, I feel like it becomes tedious when it is recited each day,” Mr. Bradley Klages, junior principal, said. “I like when we used to do it on Monday mornings only. I’m fine with it, but to me it meant more when we did it Monday morning because now it’s redundant.”

Mr. Roden feels that if students were aware of the deeper meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance, it would have a greater impact on them. He hopes that the newly-passed law that requires freshman starting with the Class of 2021 to take a civics test before graduation will for them instill deeper meaning in the Pledge.

“I can see why it can be seen as important to a lot of people, and to give everyone the opportunity to say it, I think it takes, what, 30 seconds out of the day,” Mrs. Laura Medrala, Language Arts teacher, said. “On the flipside, you don’t have to.”

The pledge has now become a part of students everyday routine. Whether or not they choose to stand is ultimately their decision.