The Pledge of Allegiance: Discriminatory?

The events occurring in the city of Freehold, New Jersey, may shock any person with any sense of nationalism. A family filed a lawsuit against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District last month, stating that the phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, “under God”, discriminates against children who practice atheist beliefs. They claim that the phrase, “marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots.” However, the school district lawyer, David Rubin, claims that the school is just following a state requirement to recite the pledge on a daily basis. Rubin also stated that individual kids are not required to participate.

Honestly, this case is outrageous and embarrassing for the American people. The phrase, added to the pledge in 1954, doesn’t target any specific group in particular or imply that people who do not follow specific beliefs are “less than ideal patriots”. In fact, I find this lawsuit ironic; people are offended and feel discriminated against due to a pledge that was written to signify the unity and liberty that created the foundation of America.

Even if that family feels as though the Pledge of Allegiance is discriminatory towards their children, the students are not being forced to recite the words and are allowed to not participate if desired. It is ridiculous to point a finger at the school district for following the law- not to mention that the pledge is a symbol of honor and freedom for veterans and has been around for over 6 decades.

“I don’t think that it should be a legal issue, but the family is allowed to have an opinion that is against the pledge because at most schools, teachers make kids stand up, even if they don’t make the kids say it”, says Kim H., sophomore. However, other kids have different opinions over the issue. For example, junior Travis D. stated, “There is no law making kids say the pledge everyday, so people should have respect and pledge their oath to their country even if they feel as though they’re being discriminated against.”