Brookline group: Wave bye to Pledge of Allegiance in school
From Boston Herald: (Ungrateful) Peaceniks in leafy, lefty Brookline are trying to ban the Pledge of Allegiance from town schools, insisting the iconic verse has anti-patriotic overtones and even shades of McCarthyism — a claim seen as an insulting absurdity by families of fallen soldiers and 9/11 victims as the 10th anniversary of that horrific day approaches.
Brookline Political Action for Peace — also known as Brookline PAX — will push Town Meeting voters in November to urge the School Committee to end the requirement that principals allow a weekly recitation of the Pledge during morning announcements. The town lets students choose whether to participate.
The activist group argues the pledge has no educational value and is “literally and psychologically a loyalty oath, reminiscent of McCarthyism or some horrific totalitarian regimes.”
The petition is chiefly the work of Marty Rosenthal, the Brookline group’s co-chairman, who also led a successful bid in the 1980s to eliminate the pledge from Town Meeting’s official proceedings, making it a voluntary part of the prelude. “I’ve spent 40 years in civic involvement. I yield to nobody in patriotism,” said Rosenthal, an attorney. “The pledge is at odds with America’s most important traditions.”
Rep. Frank I. Smizik (D-Brookline), a co-signer, calls the resolution an exercise of First Amendment rights and an anti-bullying measure, saying it would protect students who do not wish to pledge. We’ve had so many problems with bullying. . . . One kid gets mad at another kid because he’s something that he doesn’t like or does something that he doesn’t like,” Smizik said. “That kind of stuff happens.”
Rosenthal insisted, “I have the highest gratitude for people who have given the ultimate sacrifice. But what are they doing it for? Is it for the flag of the United States, or the principles that we stand for? I believe that what we’re doing with this is in the highest traditions of what we stand for.”
To which Joe Colantoni, a Korean War veteran, responded: “Tell him he’s full of (expletive).”
This guy can’t handle the Pledge of Allegiance being recited just once a week? Excuse me if I don’t feel sorry for his weak allegiance to what the majority of Americans most likely feel is patriotic. I hope the school board doesn’t yield to his selfish demand.
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag
Of the United States of America,
And to the Republic for which it stands:
One Nation under God, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all”