It is a hollow affirmation that must be compelled.

[UPDATE:]

I find it incredibly encouraging for our country when a young person, within a deeply authoritarian framework like our school system, shows the fortitude and courage to calmly assert their Constitutional rights. Moreso in our current national anti-dissent climate – a climate fostered by officials at the highest levels of our government.

A parent must be doing something right when their child has both the strength of their convictions to stand firm and the poise, even when emotionally assailed, to do so without rancor or upset.

As encouraging? Finding leaders within our local school system who recognize the importance of strengthening our country’s next generation’s ability to respectfully stand firm on principle and create an environment cultivating that courage.

NC G.S.115C‑47.29A (2005):

To Encourage the Display of the United States and North Carolina Flags, and to Encourage the Recitation of the Pledge or Oath of Allegiance. – Local boards of education are encouraged to adopt policies to (i) provide for the display of the United States and North Carolina flags in each classroom, (ii) provide the opportunity for students to recite the Pledge or Oath of Allegiance on a regular basis, and (iii) provide age‑appropriate instruction on the meaning and historical origins of the flag and the Pledge of Allegiance. These policies shall not compel any person to stand, salute the flag, or recite the Pledge of Allegiance. If flags are donated or are otherwise available, flags shall be displayed in each classroom.

NC G.S.115C-47.29A (2006) as ratified July 12th and approved July 19th, 2006:

To Encourage Require the Display of the United States and North Carolina Flags, and to EncourageRequire the Recitation of the Pledge or Oath of Allegiance. – Local boards of education are encouraged to shall adopt policies to (i) provide for require the display of the United States and North Carolina flags in each classroom, when available, (ii) provide the opportunity for students to recite the Pledge or Oath of Allegiance on a regular basis,require that recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance be scheduled on a daily basis, and (iii) provide age‑appropriate instruction on the meaning and historical origins of the flag and the Pledge of Allegiance. These policies shall not compel any person to stand, salute the flag, or recite the Pledge of Allegiance. If flags are donated or are otherwise available, flags shall be displayed in each classroom.

So, recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance is required but participation, in line with the Supreme Court’s reversal of previous precedent in 1943’s WEST VIRGINIA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION v. BARNETTE, 319 U.S. 624 (1943), cannot be compelled.

One hopes that distinction is clearly drawn among those reciters within our local school district who might be tempted, in a pique of conformist zeal, to force faux patriotism.

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