Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Forced Patriotism

From the AP:

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Public schools would be required to set aside time each day for students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance under a bill unanimously approved Tuesday by the state Senate.

The legislation says students couldn’t be forced to say the pledge if they or their parents objected.

[…]

Many schoolchildren in Michigan already recite the pledge, but some schools and teachers don’t make time for it, said Republican Sen. Patricia Birkholz of Saugatuck, who sponsored the bill.

“It’s very important that our schoolchildren have time to remember what our country is built on,” she said. “It’s less than a 30-second reminder every day.”

When I taught school we had the pledge every morning as part of the homeroom ritual. It was as meaningful to my students as the announcement of the dance troupe’s bake sale at recess, and making it a requirement isn’t going to change that. But hey, it’s just another reminder that the Republicans are the party of limited government and personal responsibility…