Sioux Falls, SD
A decision regarding the Pledge of Allegiance has been creating quite a stir for the Sioux Falls School District recently. That after some veterans expressed their concerns to the school board about the Pledge not being required to be recited in high school classrooms.
Now, parents are being asked for their input on whether or not the Pledge should be said daily in high schools. Veterans we talked to say it's about time.
The Sioux Falls School Board voted last week to expand a requirement that the Pledge of Allegiance be said in middle school classrooms. The Board declined to expand the same practice to the high school level.
But veterans in our area say that's still unacceptable.
"Pledge of Allegiance, you're taking two minutes of your time in the morning. Your schedule is so busy that you can't take two minutes of your time to say Pledge of Allegiance to a flag you live under? No. I don't agree with that. I'm sorry, you could never get me to go there," Army Veteran Samuel Jack said.
We spoke to three men who have served in various conflicts, from World War II to Vietnam and Desert Storm. Each one of them says it should be a no-brainer for kids to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at every level of school.
"It just teaches children who they are. That they're Americans, I think. I grew up with the Pledge of Allegiance and I just think it's the right thing to do," Marine Corps Veteran Dan Smoot said.
"I would hope that they would vote that they could somehow arrange to have the Pledge of Allegiance in the high schools, and continue with the elementary and middle schools and their tradition," World War II and Korean War Veteran Ellwood Wilson said.
As for the backlash the school district has been receiving over the issue, Smoot says violence is not the answer.
"There's better ways to express it than threats. That's never the right thing to do. Not for anybody," Smoot said.
The vets say they hope the Pledge, which means so much to them, is brought to high schools.
"It fills our heart and makes us remember things that we pledged to do. The things that we did for our country, in time of combat," Wilson said. "I hope that there's enough respect for our country in parents today that they can make a good decision."
"I think the parents should have a say in it. But I still think if you're an American citizen, it's the right thing to do anyway," Smoot said.
"They live under the same flag I live under. And the only reason they live under that freedom, is because we, not just me but 500, 600, a couple million people have fought for that right," Jack said.