Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online)

The Incompatibility of a Daily School Pledge with a Democratic and Multicultural Education
William McCorkle, Stephanie Schenck

Abstract
The Pledge of Allegiance has become a tradition in schools throughout the United States. The debate on this practice has often been limited due to the ideas of national pride that surround the pledge. This article addresses both the problematic history of the pledge, the protected precedence of teachers and students refusing to state the pledge, the pledge’s international abnormality, and the practical and philosophical concerns of a daily pledge in the public school setting. The article’s contention is that the pledge introduces a shallow view of national loyalty, while simultaneously endangering religious liberty, overlooking the views of marginalized and immigrant students, and promoting nationalism and a more subtle militarism. The article concludes with beneficial alternatives schools could use in place of a daily pledge and the societal benefits of reconsidering this tradition.

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