No Pledge of Allegiance

…until there actually is liberty and justice for all. That’s what ten-year-old Will Phillips says, and he’s acting on it, declining to stand for the Pledge at school because his family has gay friends who aren’t being treated equally under the law — who are being deprived of the right to marry, or to adopt children.

Predictably, Will is being harassed for his stance, first by a substitute teacher and (of course) by some of the more nasty and ignorant students at his school. (Although to be fair, this is only elementary school and I’d bet cookies that the students who are taunting and harassing him are just reflecting the views and behavior of their parents, so the shame is on them for not setting a better example.)

Will’s parents support him, though, and got the school administration to admit that he’s not required to stand for the Pledge, that he does have the right to sit through it.

And what about the substitute teacher who tried to bully him into participating, even threatening to get his mother and grandmother (whom she knew, although obviously not very well) on his case? Since he hadn’t broken any rules in refusing to stand for the Pledge, Will’s mother asked when they could expect an apology from that teacher. Well, the principal didn’t see that as “necessary.” Of course not. [eyeroll]

Will has an excellent sense of right and wrong, though, and I applaud his stand, and also his parents for supporting him in doing what’s right. Read more about Will and the Pledge incident in this Arkansas Times article, and more commentary by John Brummett, a columnist with the Arkansas News. If nothing else, Mr. Brummett’s suggested alternate Pledge is entertaining, and unfortunately apt.

Thanks to Indigene on The Phade for the original link.


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Angela Benedetti lives in Seattle with her husband and a few thousand books. She loves romance for the happy endings, for the affirmation that everyone who's willing to fight for love deserves to get it and be happy with someone. She's best known for her Sentinel series of novels, the most recent of which is Captive Magic.