A school in Tallahassee, Florida started off the new school year by sending home a form for parents to sign, giving their permission for the student to NOT recite the pledge of allegiance.
The form was titled, “Pledge of Allegiance Request”, with instructions to “Fill in all requested information – complete and return to your child’s school.” It was not presented as a waiver, and instructions did not say it was optional. The form read:
“I understand my rights as a parent and I request that my child, noted above, be excused from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. This request includes standing and placing his/her right hand over his/her heart.”
At least one family didn’t appreciate it, and the mother sent the form back, writing across the front, “This is the dumbest thing I have ever read and I am so ashamed of this.”
Then the child’s uncle posted the whole thing on Facebook, and an outraged nation responded by sharing it over 22,000 times.
Michah Brienen posted a photo of the pledge waiver on Thursday, saying “My niece brought this home from school today… What is happening to our country?”
Sunday afternoon he posted the name and contact information of the school, and said the pledge opt-out waiver is part of the Leon County Student Handbook in Tallahassee, Florida. His niece attends the Killearn Lakes Elementary School.
Brienen clarified that he doesn’t believe a child should be forced to say the pledge – if they don’t want to say it, they should stand respectfully and remain silent. But he said he was shocked to see the schools are now promoting an opt-out.
He wrote, “My hope is that this post brings attention to people so that maybe the same policy to send out the waivers doesn’t pass in another state. Sadly, our American values and traditions are whittling away…What’s next? No American flags in schools?? Will future Presidents (Republican or Democrat) be forced to quit saying “God Bless America” at the end of his/her speeches?”
“And for those few ignorants that believe wars are fought for the right to protest the pledge, I’d like to see those people go to a VFW or American Legion meeting and when the pledge is started, stand up and tell them that….good luck with that.”
Tuesday morning, Brienen gave the latest update: “I have just been informed that The Pledge of Allegiance request form has been removed from the student handbook district-wide. They’ve torn it out of every handbook. Per an edict that came down from the district last night. We can make a difference! Let’s save America together!!”
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