The kids up at the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Junior High are pledging, too – to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands.
But not for which Bishop Edens stands. He’s sitting down.
Despite getting an ISS, better known as an “in school suspension” on Friday, the 14-year-old decided this weekend he would NOT stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, as district policy requires. That’s what his mom, Heather Page, said on the phone this morning.
I called up there to see what had happened today – the his first day back since running afoul school policy.
Trouble started Thursday, when three students were reprimanded for sitting through the Pledge, although it didn’t seem a matter of principle, if the various accounts of the matter are true. Edens nonetheless decided to make a point out of the matter on Friday and then got put in the penalty box. His mom decided to bring him home.
“I understand everyone is going to have their own opinion about it,” said Page today. “If it’s about supporting your country, there are a lot of other ways to support it, to support our troops. You can write them a letter. You can send them a package. But I don’t think standing or sitting for the pledge is supporting them.”
She didn’t know how her son handled the situation today, although she admits to some apprehension about what the fallout from this will be in town. But since the school hadn’t called, she assumed some accommodation had been reached. “I’m sure I’ll hear about it when he gets home,” she said.
I called Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton junior high principal Colleen Houglum, but she’s out of the office. She told the Associated Press last week that the district policy may have to change.
That remains to be seen: here’s the state law on the matter, as enacted in 2003:
Subd. 3. Pledge of Allegiance.
(a) All public and charter school students shall recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America one or more times each week.
The recitation shall be conducted:
(1) by each individual classroom teacher or the teacher’s surrogate; or
(2) over a school intercom system by a person designated by the school principal or other person having administrative control over the school.
A local school board or a charter school board of directors may annually, by majority vote, waive this requirement.
(b) Any student or teacher may decline to participate in recitation of the pledge.
(c) A school district or charter school that has a student handbook or school policy guidemust include a statement that anyone who does not wish to participate in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for any personal reasons may elect not to do so and that students must respect another person’s right to make that choice.
(d) A local school board or a charter school board of directors that waives the requirement to recite the Pledge of Allegiance under paragraph (a) may adopt a district or school policy regarding the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance.