Score One More for America… Student’s Brave Fight for Pledge of Allegiance in Arlington, Massachusetts Schools Finally Triumphs (video) « Frugal Café Blog Zone

Score One More for America… Student’s Brave Fight for Pledge of Allegiance in Arlington, Massachusetts Schools Finally Triumphs (video)

Posted By 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?

I wrote this post back in May: Patriotic Pride Artwork Excludes American Flag… California Teacher Tells Student Flag Drawing Is “Offensive,” Praised Another Student for Obama Drawing (video)

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.

From Boston Globe, New policy clears way for Pledge of Allegiance in Arlington schools – School Committee reverses June vote:

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.

From FOX News, New Policy Allows Pledge of Allegiance at Massachusetts School District:

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 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

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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About the author

I'm a conservative frugalist. My priorities: Watchdogging the government, making sure our tax dollars are spent wisely, living within our budgets (at home and in Washington, DC), and adhering to our Constitution and the conservative principles upon which it was developed by our founding fathers. Also, loving God, my family, and my country. Be wise, be frugal. God bless America!      


4 Responses to “Score One More for America… Student’s Brave Fight for Pledge of Allegiance in Arlington, Massachusetts Schools Finally Triumphs (video)”

  1. wbf1230 says:

    I do not understand why those in favor of small limited government would want to say or have the pledge said at all. Frances Bellamy, a christian socialist and Baptist minister went to work at The Youth’s Companion (a magazine for children…) after being kicked out of his church for preaching his socialist views. He even delivered a sermon titled “Jesus The Socialist”. Since he no longer had a pulpit to try to advance his socialistic beliefs, Bellamy decided to advance them through the public schools. (The pledge may be the oldest indoctrination tool used in schools to promote national socialism). The Pledge was first used has part of a nationwide Columbus Day celebration in 1892. The pledge is not a pledge to country but rather a pledge to government. The most wide spread definition of the word allegiance is “the obligation of support and loyalty to one’s ruler, government, or country”. The constitution and the pledge are two different things. The constitution was drafted, debated, and ratified by our founders who made us We The People. The pledge was written by a socialist who believed in an authoritarian government was not debated nor ratified by those school kids who would be forced to say it everyday. The constitution places We The People above the government. The pledge makes We The People beholding to the government. The original salute to the pledge was called the Bellamy Salute and it was used until 1942. In 1942 the federal government adopted the pledge (FDR a noted socialist was the president). The salute was changed to the over the heart salute that is used today. The reason for this is because, Frances Bellamy was finally exported to Germany for his strong support of National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazis) and the party patterned the familiar stiff armed salute after the original Bellamy Salute. Nazism is today seen as an anti semetic movement but what it really was was national socialism.
    If you are like me and believe in the Jeffersonian model for central government then why do you want the pledge at all? If you want indoctrination in the schools to stop, why then, do you want the oldest form of indoctrination in the schools? We know that the founders of this nation believed the sovereignty was in the people. The pledge suggests that sovereignty lies in the state. Authoritarian pledges and oaths to government are not in line with the country our founders created

    • admin says:

      Watch the Red Skelton video. That succinctly summarizes my deep feelings on the Pledge of Allegiance. Which happen to closely aligned to the Boy Scout pledge and the Girl Scout pledge.

      Concerning socialists, Matt Damon and Sean Penn are raging socialists, which my husband despises, but he still likes watching their movies. I won’t, but he does. Since it was the statists who had the pledge removed in Massachusetts’ schools, it’s curious that they would be so vehemently opposed to something that actually dovetails with their mindset. Interesting – I need to dig into more research, but you bring up a number of excellent points.

      Socialism has evolved over the decades, as have other ideologies and political benchmarks. By today’s standards, John F. Kennedy would be considered a moderate Republican. So, examining historical roots is fascinating and important, but not always applicable to present-day events. Such as the origin of the Christmas tree and other pagan-turned-Christian traditions.

      Good points brought up. Thanks for sharing.

      • wbf1230 says:

        The pledge worked to promote national socialism in my opinion because that is what we have now after slow doses of it throughout the 20th century. Liberals today may be shunning the pledge because they have moved on to global socialism and want the end of National sovereignty.

  2. Ricardo says:

    What a great kid to follow thru on this. Fighting the dems is no easy task, even for adults. This young man is going to shake up alot of dust in a few years.