Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Pledge To Avoid Real Problems

It seems that the Sioux Falls School District has ended up in a fine mess when it comes to the Pledge of Allegiance being said during school.  So many people are getting into an uproar because the school district doesn't demand that they force students to be patriotic.  So how do these so called patriots show their American spirit?  They leave hate messages and death threats against those they disagree with.  
Todd Thoelke said he received death threats by phone among the more than 100 phone calls and 100 emails from all over the country. One said they would come to his home and “eliminate” him and his “un-American family.”
Nothing says America like death threats to scare little children.  

Our politicians have jumped on the bandwagon.
The uproar has caused some state lawmakers to take action. State Rep. Hal Wick said last week he plans on bringing legislation next session to require all South Dakota students, at public and private schools, to recite the Pledge every day they are in school. 
I would like to know how Mr. Wick plans on monitoring every single student to make sure that he or she is faithfully reciting the pledge.  Will this include exchange students from other countries?  Will we need to spend less time on math or literature to make sure that every students is versed in the pledge?  How will this help students succeed in school?  I doubt I could get a real answer on the issue.

There are more important issues that Mr. Wick and others could focus on in the Sioux Falls district that would better impact the lives of students.

Fighting Homelessness
The number of homeless children identified by the school district's Homeless Education Office has risen sharply from 471in the 2004-05 school year to 1,049 in 2010-11. 
Because a student that says a pledge doesn't need to worry about where they will be sleeping that night.

Making Sure a Child has Food to Eat
Nearly 40% of the state’s school-aged children qualify for free and reduced meals. 
Because saying "I pledge allegiance to the flag..." is more important to a ten year old than getting supper when he gets home.

Preventing Child Abuse
currently in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties of South Dakota over 210 children are the "subjects" in open abuse & neglect cases. 
Because it is more important for a child to cover his or her heart in the pledge than to cover his or her bruises.

So, Representative Wick, I can understand that you don't have time to spend in dealing with trivial issues like homelessness, food security, or abuse because you need to worry if a student is being forced to say a pledge.

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