Pledge of Allegiance or blind obedience?

Late last week four students from Dilworth, Minnesota were suspended from school. Not for carrying firearms, dealing drugs, or fighting during school hours. These four rebels with a clue were suspended for {gasp!} not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance!

Late last week four students from Dilworth, Minnesota were suspended from school. Not for carrying firearms, dealing drugs, or fighting during school hours. These four rebels with a clue were suspended for {gasp!} not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance!

Now, I realize that Dilworth, Minnesota is a hotbed of political unrest, but can’t we all just settle down and not jump to the conclusion that these kids are future terrorists?

The principal, Colleen Houglum told the “Dilworth Four” that not standing during the pledge of allegiance was disrespectful to the troops fighting in Iraq. The student handbook states that “All students will stand” during the pledge but you are not required to recite it.

My question is why the principal is suspending perfectly good students for simply believing in their right of free expression?

The Pledge of Allegiance is a time-honored tradition of bleary-eyed youngsters pledging unquestioning patriotism to our government. And as most traditions go, this one needs to go permanently. We have been dealing with this issue since the 1970s, when it was ok to question one’s government, to today when questioning our government’s actions labels us boat rockers.

This is just another example of meaningless gestures put upon the American public to make us feel better and safer knowing that our government is above reproach.

How do you show your patriotism? Got the yellow magnetic bow that says “We support the Troops” for your Suburban? How about the American Flag on the front porch? Do you make sure your little tyke knows all the words to “Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood?

If so, congratulations: you are what our current government wants in a voter and a citizen – blind obedience.

As far as the Pledge of Allegiance is concerned, we need to get rid of it.

You can show your patriotism by being a well-informed voter. You can show love for your country by questioning your government. And if you are in the eighth grade in Dilworth, Minnesota, you can get the admiration of the entire U.S.A. by simply not standing up for the “pledge” but by sitting down.

Todd Nuttman is a resident of Kent and a new columnist for the Kent Reporter. Send your responses for Nuttman to: laura.pierce@reporternewspapers.com.

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