Counterculture Con HQ

August 5, 2010

PROGRESSIVE: Massachusetts School District Allows Pledge of Allegiance

Progressive school district in Massachusetts relents and “allows” the pledge of allegiance to be recited again.  But just barely.

Students at Massachusetts high schools in Arlington can rejoice — they’ll be allowed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance this fall. Nearly two months after deadlocking on a proposal by senior Sean Harrington, the Arlington Public School Committee unanimously approved a new pledge policy on Tuesday night that allows principals at each school to determine how the pledge will be recited each day.

“Yes, the policy has been changed,” Arlington High School Principal Charles Skidmore told FoxNews.com in an email. “All principals in the district must ensure that the Pledge of Allegiance is said every school day in all classrooms.”

In June, Harrington appeared to have won his fight to bring the Pledge of Allegiance back into Arlington High School, but Skidmore, offered to allow students to recite the pledge before school begins and in the school’s foyer instead of inside the classrooms, as 17-year-old Harrington had hoped.

Skidmore now says he’s pleased with the new policy and especially the process that led up to it.

“As a result of the controversy, I heard from many people both across the country and in our community who wanted the Pledge restored to our school. That’s all I was ever looking for on this issue — widespread community buy-in so that students would feel that they wanted to say the Pledge, not just that they had to,” he said.

No student, teacher or administrator will be required to participate in a recitation, an Arlington High School official confirmed to FoxNews.com.

Harrington presented school officials with a petition signed by 700 people, along with letters of support from lawmakers including Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. But the request to have the pledge recited failed when the committee’s vote ended in a 3-3 tie.

“I was really heartbroken,” Harrington told Fox News Radio in June. “It’s hard to think that something so traditional in American society was turned down.”  Harrington, who could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday, said months ago that he did not intend to stop pushing for the Pledge of Allegiance until it was allowed in his classrooms.

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