You have rights regarding the Pledge

Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Julia Wilson's concern that students are being forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance may be justified, but it is contrary to the policy of the Juneau School Board and if any teacher or administrator doing so it is in violation of that policy. Policy No. 1275, which is undergirded by the Supreme Court's decision in West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, says, "Individuals shall be informed that they may decline ... to recite the Pledge of Allegiance."

It is obligatory on the person leading the recitation to invite students and staff to participate, and to inform them of their right to decline. Any teacher or administrator who gives the impression otherwise should be reported to the chief administrator and to the school board.

Those who object to the words "under God" while accepting the balance of the Pledge may leave them out, even without pausing while others say them.

Kenneth H. Bonnell

Los Angeles

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