To stand or not to stand


Chrissy Martinez, Staff Reporter

Starting from a young age, we have ingrained in us by our elementary schools to stand up and recite “The Pledge of Allegiance.” We rarely questioned why but simply did as they told. We would stop what we’re doing, stand up, place our right hand over our heart and recite the words “I pledge allegiance…” We now repeat these words every day during second period with the PA system. But recently, the NFL kneeling controversy has sparked new opposing views regarding The Pledge of Allegiance.

When asked about his own views about standing for the pledge, Major Wilson, a JROTC teacher at West said, “It’s an expectation that American citizens stand for The Pledge of Allegiance as well as the National Anthem when it is played.”  Since we have repeated the pledge everyday it has become an “expectation” for students to stand, when in reality there is no rule stating you must stand up for the pledge.

Questions have been raised as to whether or not we should stand for the pledge on our own campus. Attending a high school with such diversity such as West High, it is important that these questions be answered. Senior Michelle Nguyen stated, “I feel like [standing is] a choice that every American citizen has.”

West’s own principal chimed in on the subject. “It’s really important that the classroom and that our school… can sit down and have respectable conversation even if they disagree with someone,” Mr. Boswell said. Even with opposing views, it is imperative that we have healthy conversations on campus.

When asked what the American flag means to him, senior Dennis Iljincika said, “It is a symbol of our country.” What makes America great is that we have the freedom to choose and make our own decisions. As students, it is important to be aware of our rights both on and off campus. In the First Amendment we have the right to freedom of speech and expression. Schools cannot force any student to participate in any patriotic traditions such as the National Anthem and The Pledge of Allegiance.

With all of these different views, it is crucial that we remember that our country is the land of the free. I believe that as Americans we have the right to make our own decisions. Students should not be forced to stand for The Pledge of Allegiance. Even the Supreme Court states you have the right to not participate. To take a stand or not, the choice is yours, goodbye West High.