The Oasis Review

To Pledge or Not To Pledge

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To Pledge or Not To Pledge

Instead of honoring the pledge, a student decided to not participate.

Instead of honoring the pledge, a student decided to not participate.

Instead of honoring the pledge, a student decided to not participate.

Instead of honoring the pledge, a student decided to not participate.

Christian Manriquez, Writer

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Everyday, during the announcements, students are asked to stand during the pledge of allegiance. While most people tend to stick to the long-lasting tradition, recently there has been a small uprise in students refusing to stand during the pledge. The reason why a student sits during the pledge can vary from each individual. Some do it for reasons no other than pure laziness, while others have formed and stood by genuine opinions on the matter.

“I just don’t participate, to be honest.” Says Lily Anderson, a sophomore, “I don’t care about it, so I don’t go out of my way to do it.”

Unlike Lily, however, some students sit for more political reasons, such as those beliefs held by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who gained national attention for choosing not to stand for the National Anthem. The students, like Kaepernick, believe that by sitting down during the pledge, they are using their power to effectively fight the social injustices that they believe are happening in the United States. 

“Why am I going to stand and praise a flag that doesn’t defend my rights?” Argues freshman Jasmin SIlva, “They abuse my rights and take them away from me. My opportunities for future scholarships and college opportunities are being shortened up.” Jasmin believes that, due to her ethnicity as a latina, her opportunities have been stripped away from her.

However this is not solely a race issue between the white majority and minorities. There are minorities who feel proud to stand for the Pledge. 

“I stand for the pledge because I don’t think the flag is a symbolic representation of our government, but for the values of our country,” Samah Ghosn, a senior, begins to explain, “The values of our country represent freedom, opportunity, and liberty. As an arab American, I could potentially not stand and use the discrimination against Arab-Americans as a reason, but I stand because this country has provided me freedom and opportunity that I would most likely not have experienced in Lebanon or in a different country. I don’t bite the hand that feeds me.”

An important fact to keep in mind is the difference of opinions between both, the students and the staff members – especially if they’ve spent time in the military. Assistant Principal Ms. Karmen Miller, who’s served time in the woman’s corps, has a lot to say on the matter. While she doesn’t think it should be mandatory for students to stand during the pledge, she does believe that students should stand as a form of respect.

“I understand they’re exercising their right, but I’m a little concerned. It is something that we’re required to do as a school, to do the pledge. You don’t have to recite it, but I would think you’d be respectful, even if you are sitting. I don’t think it’s something that I would try to pull you out of instruction for, but I would prefer if a teacher and a student would have a conversation to try to figure out why you would sit instead of stand. Personally, I would prefer that they would stand and that’s based off my experience and with my family being in the military as well,”  Miller said.

Miller continues to state how some students don’t say the pledge for religious reasons, “I’m not going to make them feel uncomfortable or put upon, if that’s what it is,” she goes on to say, “but, at the same time, the other part of my brain is going ‘You’re in the United States, this is apart of our culture and being an American.’”

While, yes, some students don’t stand due to religious beliefs, or other cultural differences, most don’t have those reasons to stand by. Is this truly the case of a new generation, taught to use their voice to speak out for the things they believe in? In all, the real question remains: As the next generation of activists appear, what other cultural traditions will change? Will it harm us as a society, or create a more inclusive environment? Only time can tell.

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About the Writer
Christian Manriquez, Writer

My name is Christian Manriquez and I am currently sophomore. I was raised in Long Beach, California, but moved to Las Vegas my freshman year. I consider...

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To Pledge or Not To Pledge