Score One More for America… Student’s Brave Fight for Pledge of Allegiance in Arlington, Massachusetts Schools Finally Triumphs (video)
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on August 5, 2010
The tenacity and patriotism of a high school student has done what many may have thought would be impossible: the Pledge of Allegiance, after decades of being banned, can now be recited in Arlington, Massachusetts classrooms.
As good as this news is, it is also sobering. When did American patriotism become so toxic to a handful of statist citizens that the American flag and the pledge were ultimately banned from US schools? For many liberals, all cultures are to embraced and respected, pride in one’s culture nurtured, diversity encouraged, tolerance preached… except American culture. What happened to nurturing pride and respect in AMERICA, in American culture and its history in our public schools?
High schooler Sean Harrington battled the school district and liberal extremists for three long years. He began his uphill mission when he was just a freshman in high school. God bless this kid for hanging in for the long haul, for not giving up.
Would love to see him enter the political arena in a few years — we need more like him.
After three years of fighting for the Pledge of Allegiance to be said in his school, Arlington High School senior Sean Harrington will finally get his wish this fall.
Six weeks after deadlocking on a proposal that would have required the pledge to be led in all Arlington schools, the School Committee approved a new pledge policy unanimously last night.
The policy allows principals to determine how the pledge will be recited in their schools each day. While the policy will require that each student be given the opportunity to say the pledge, no students or faculty members will be required to participate in a recitation.
At Arlington High, where the pledge has not been recited in decades, it now will be said daily over the intercom.
After the vote, an emotional Harrington said high school principal Charles Skidmore informed him that he can lead the pledge on the first day of school in September.
“It’s just tears of joy,’’ Harrington said, wiping tears from his eyes. “I’m just so overly excited.’’
A districtwide policy on the pledge failed to pass in June when the School Committee deadlocked 3-3.
The proposal then before the committee would have required that the pledge be led daily over the intercom in each Arlington school.
State law requires that teachers lead their classes in the Pledge of Allegiance each day, but the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 1977 that it would be unconstitutional to discipline a teacher or student who chose not to say the pledge.
This video newscast aired last month, when the battle was still waging with the Arlington, Mass. school district.
Student fights to have Pledge of Allegiance recited in Arlington, Mass. classrooms | July 2010
Summary of video on YouTube, fab4bear:
When Sean Harrington entered his freshman year at Arlington High School, he noticed something peculiar: There were no American flags in the classrooms, and no one recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
So Harrington enlisted the aid of his fellow students, and now, three years later, they have succeeded in getting flags installed in the classrooms. But the pledge still will not be recited.
The Arlington, Mass., school committee has rejected the 17-year-old’s request to allow students to voluntarily recite the Pledge of Allegiance, because some educators are concerned that it would be hard to find teachers willing to recite it, according to a report in the Arlington Patch.
Harrington had presented school officials with a petition signed by 700 people, along with letters of support from lawmakers including Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.
But the request to have the pledge recited failed when the committee’s vote ended in a 3-3 tie.
“I was really heartbroken,” Harrington told FOX News Radio. “It’s hard to think that something so traditional in American society was turned down.”
His fight has received quite a bit of support from the community. “When I was going to school, it was an honor and a privilege to pledge allegiance to the flag,” Francis De Guglielmo, 55, told the Patch. He called the ban an “absolute travesty” and a “disgrace.”
Harrington, who will be a senior in the fall, said he will continue to fight. “I’m not a person who quits and I don’t back down. It’s a very righteous cause and needs to be followed through until the end.”
Some committee members voiced concerns about forcing people to do something that might violate their beliefs — including religious beliefs. Among the no-votes was committee member Leba Heigham.
“Patriotism is a very personal thing for all of us, but I do not think it is in the school committee’s best interest to mandate that any of our employees recite the pledge,” she told the Patch.
Harrington said the recitation would have been strictly voluntary.
“If we can’t find one teacher who is willing to say the pledge, then the system we have is cracked,” he told FOX News Radio, noting that a number of teachers signed his petition.
He said the school’s ban on the pledge sends the wrong message. “It tells me that we’ve basically cast aside what our country is founded on,” he said. “It’s saying that we don’t really care, and it’s sad.”
Arlington’s superintendent of schools did not return a call for comment.
Students at Massachusetts high schools in Arlington can rejoice — they’ll be allowed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance this fall.
Nearly two months after deadlocking on a proposal by senior Sean Harrington, the Arlington Public School Committee unanimously approved a new pledge policy on Tuesday night that allows principals at each school to determine how the pledge will be recited each day.
“Yes, the policy has been changed,” Arlington High School Principal Charles Skidmore told FoxNews.com in an email. “All principals in the district must ensure that the Pledge of Allegiance is said every school day in all classrooms.”
In June, Harrington appeared to have won his fight to bring the Pledge of Allegiance back into Arlington High School, but Skidmore, offered to allow students to recite the pledge before school begins and in the school’s foyer instead of inside the classrooms, as 17-year-old Harrington had hoped.
Skidmore now says he’s pleased with the new policy and especially the process that led up to it.
“As a result of the controversy, I heard from many people both across the country and in our community who wanted the Pledge restored to our school. That’s all I was ever looking for on this issue — widespread community buy-in so that students would feel that they wanted to say the Pledge, not just that they had to,” he said.
No student, teacher or administrator will be required to participate in a recitation, an Arlington High School official confirmed to FoxNews.com.
Harrington presented school officials with a petition signed by 700 people, along with letters of support from lawmakers including Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. But the request to have the pledge recited failed when the committee’s vote ended in a 3-3 tie.
“I was really heartbroken,” Harrington told Fox News Radio in June. “It’s hard to think that something so traditional in American society was turned down.”
Harrington, who could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday, said months ago that he did not intend to stop pushing for the Pledge of Allegiance until it was allowed in his classrooms.
From Gateway Pundit, Mass. School Kids Now ‘Allowed’ To Say the Pledge of Allegiance:
What sort of nation have we become when it takes monumental efforts by a kid to get a school administration to “allow” them all to recite the Pledge of Allegiance?
Nonetheless, that is the nation that liberals have turned these great United States into as after two months of wrangling Arlington, Massachusetts High School student Sean Harrington finally succeeded in getting his school administrators to allow the Pledge to be recited by students in class.
After decades of schools being scared silly by left-wing lawsuits trying to stop them form allowing displays of religion and patriotism in the classroom, many schools have summarily removed any possibility that they might be sued for such displays.
Then you add to this idiotic situation the fact that many school administrators and teachers fully agree with the anti-American and anti-religion agenda of the left in our schools.
In any case, congratulations to young Sean Harrington for sticking to his guns and proving that he is a true American.
Video rewind from a previous post…
This next one is a television classic that many of you may have already seen: the late, great comedian Red Skelton on the Pledge of Allegiance on his comedy-variety show. This aired in 1969.
Skelton shares the story of his sage school teacher, Mr. Laswell. His rendition still gives me goose bumps and makes me long for the days when American patriotism was celebrated, not denigrated, by entertainers.
The closing lines are chilling and prophetic.
Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance
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