By: Karl Rifenbark
Irvine Police Department
It was brought to our attention, recently that the Estill County Middle School and High School students do not say the Pledge of Allegiance.
On Monday May 25, 2015 (Memorial Day), one of our children was allowed to stand up in class and recite the pledge while another, in a different class, was denied on the basis that it was against the rules.
We were told, when we addressed the issue with the administration, that they don’t say the pledge or have announcements in the mornings because they want to get curriculum started as early and as soon as possible. Does the one minute it takes to get the children to stand, the fifteen seconds it takes to recite the pledge and the one minute to get the children to sit down really impede on the time it takes to start their curriculum?
I mean, Congressional sessions open with the recital of the Pledge, as do many government meetings at local levels, and meetings held by many private organizations. We are asking why? Why do we drop the ball after elementary school?
We believe that middle school and high school age students are more apt to understand the true meaning behind the flag. Not to discredit younger students, but as the student gets older, they are able to really understand the ideals and concepts of this great nation. The pre-adult years are when “the bigger picture” finally comes together.
So, we have broken down the true meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance in the most literal form. What does the Pledge of Allegiance mean? I pledge- A pledge is a promise. Allegiance-Allegiance means loyalty. To the flag- The flag is a symbol of our country. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America- This means that you promise to be a good friend to your country, the USA. And to the republic- A republic is a place where people get to vote and make choices about leaders and what rules everyone should follow. People are free to agree or disagree and it is OK to be different. For which it stands- The flag of the United States is a symbol for this type of place, our country. One nation- The United States, though it has fifty states, also works together to be stronger. Under God- For those who say this phrase in the Pledge (some don’t) God may mean different things to different people. There are many different people who have different beliefs in our country. This phrase is intended to show that a higher power blesses or looks positively on the type of place the United States is. Indivisible- Divisible means able to be divided such as when you cut an apple in two. Adding the prefix “in” means “not”. So, indivisible means not able to be divided. This is just like our country. Our country cannot be separated. Our country is strong and cannot be broken up for any reason. With liberty- Liberty means freedom. In the United States we are able to make choices and do what we want. We do not have to be like everyone else. And justice- Justice means fairness. The country does its best to ensure everything is fair for all people and nobody is favored over another. For all- For everyone. So, the Pledge of Allegiance could be summed up by saying: The flag is a symbol of our country, the United States of America, which is a place where we can make choices, vote and it is okay to be different. This is a country where a higher power thinks we are a good country (if you believe in a higher power). Our country will always be together and strong because of that. Our country makes sure people are free and people are treated fairly. I promise to be a good and loyal friend to this country – The United States of America. Source: http://homeschoolpool.info/…/what-does-the-pledge-of-alleg…/
So, now let us define what the word Patriot means since, that is the mascot for the Estill County Middle School: Patriot: 1. A person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion. 2. A person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.
Now let’s define Engineer: (the high school mascot) 1. A person trained and skilled in the design, construction, and use of engines or machines, or in any of various branches of engineering: a mechanical engineer; a civil engineer. 2. A person who operates or is in charge of an engine. 3. Also called locomotive engineer. Railroads. A person who operates or is in charge of a locomotive. 4. A member of an army, navy, or air force specially trained in engineering work. 5. A skillful manager: a political engineer. -source dictionary.com
How can we call ourselves Patriots when we are not teaching them that the blood of true Patriots are the reason we live in this great country? To be an Engineer, means to be a skillful manager, but without the meaning of devotion to our Country, what type of “skillful managers” will we have to lead us? How many of our students, parents, grandparents or other family members have pledged their lives to this wonderful country? Maybe to some it is just words that are recited daily for no reason. However, any Patriotic American understands the truth behind the words. Are we raising a generation to disrespect our country, to betray our constitution? Without teaching the Pledge to our adolescents and teenage generations are we harboring domestic terrorism? We realize that many people are just as disgusted as we are at our current administration, but that doesn’t give us the right to turn our backs on our oath to this great nation as an American Citizen!
So, we challenge you to two things. 1. Ask your children if they understand the TRUE meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance and what it means to them. You may be surprised to find out that they are completely unaware of the true definition. 2. Demand that our children are given the opportunity to recite the pledge every single morning just as we did when we were in school. God bless you and God bless the USA.