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Pledge Of Allegiance Becomes Hot Topic

November 12, 2013, 10:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Pledge Of Allegiance Becomes Hot Topic
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Should students say the Pledge of Allegiance everyday before class? It's long been a discussion among many older people who saw it as a patriotic tradition while they were growing up. 

On the heels of Veterans Day, a half dozen uniformed veterans addressed the school board asking for one simple request.

"This is what we are asking, ten seconds a day from standup until sit down. Ten seconds to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day," Jim Borman said.

The veterans had sent a letter to the board so they could be heard Tuesday night. But that's all that happened.

"We felt that we wanted to make that clear that at the high school level, we don't. There's not always an opportunity to have the Pledge of Allegiance spoken every day," school board member Kate Parker said.

That explanation didn't sit well with the veterans after the unanimous vote to not allow it.

"Tonight we had a wounded veteran, it took him longer to get out and get up and get his crutches, then it would have taken the students to say the pledge of allegiance to the flag," Dave Saunders said.

Board members argued that it's not feasible to say it every day.

"Just the challenge of being able to find a period within a high school day to be able to say it consistently appeared to be a challenge," school board Doug Morrison said.

For the veterans, it was an emotional issue showing a sign of respect to the flag and those who defended it.

"Yet they decided they didn't have enough time in their day to do it, he gave almost all he had for our country, but our school district couldn't give ten seconds, sorry," Saunders said.

Even though they lost their battle with the school board, like true soldiers, they aren't giving up.

"It's never over, we'll fight the good fight until the end, it's something that is important to us," Saunders said.

The school board voted to expand its policy to require middle school students to say the pledge of allegiance.   It's already recited in the elementary schools.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
The script was clarified to reflect that the board expanded the policy to include middle school students; the headline was also updated.

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