Children in the United States go through many years of school reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, but does it encourage loyalty in their nation or fear of it? The years that I spent in school reciting the pledge did little to instill patriotism in me.
I do not even remember the words to it. Having a more hands-on approach to community involvement would be a better way to teach children pride for their country. Encourage children to be concerned about their school, neighborhood, city and nation by letting them be a part of their community. It is the job of not just schools, but also the parents to play a part in showing the next generation what true devotion to their country is all about. True patriotism is the selfless giving of oneself and simply reciting the pledge is woefully inadequate.
The fact that school children, from the youngest to the oldest, are required to recite the pledge goes against the sense of individual liberty and freedom that is as the very heart of what our Republic stands for. James Perry, author of the essay titled, “What I Expect My Child to Learn from Not Saying the Pledge of Allegiance,” states, “recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance doesn’t support American ideals. Instead, it gives away our liberty, minimizing that for which the founding fathers fought.”
Children do not learn patriotism by being forced to recite a pledge every day, it only brings an element of fear from peer pressure and the Big Brother element. Being forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance does exactly the opposite of what it’s supposed to do. Perry explains, “For a sovereign citizen to pledge allegiance to the Republic is exactly backwards. The Republic exists for us as individuals.” It takes away from their individual liberties and their right not to have to say a pledge. We shouldn’t force our children to perform this act of fake loyalty to their country. Reciting the pledge doesn’t prove loyalty and refusal to recite it doesn’t prove treason. We should take it for granted that our children love their country and nurture those ideas rather than make them recite an unnecessary, therefore meaningless pledge.
I wish that my parents and my school did more to show me what true patriotism was instead of just teaching...