Cobb school video equating honor with standing for pledge of allegiance spurs concern

A video to illustrate honor used standing for the pledge as an example of showing honor. Was that wrong?

At a Cobb County middle school Wednesday, a video designed to illustrate the concept of honor focused on a child who didn’t rise for the pledge of allegiance with her class. Eventually, the student comes to see that standing for the pledge honors the Armed Forces and thus rises with the class.

Several people contacted me about the video that was shown at Hightower Trail Middle School. They felt it disparaged and discredited the athletes, most of whom are African-American, who are kneeling during the pledge or the national anthem in an effort to bring attention to racism and police shootings of unarmed black citizens.

The issue is at the forefront in Cobb County because of student protests Monday and today at Kennesaw State University where five cheerleaders knelt during the national anthem three weeks ago.  The squad was then banished from the field during the anthem, a controversial decision now being reviewed by the Board of Regents.

As a Hightower Trail parent explained:

The video showed a class with kids that were doing the Pledge of Allegiance. One kid didn’t stand, so later the other kids asked why she didn’t stand? They, of course, explained what patriotism was. Three days later, the kid stands for the pledge.

I think the timing is questionable and the brainwashing is obvious. The video clearly was created to persuade, ostracize, and pressure students into standing for the flag and reciting the pledge. Now many students are afraid if they do not recite or stand for the flag at school, they will be punished or shamed. In light of current events, the timing of the video could not be any worse. What happened to the first amendment?

Created by students under the supervision of a teacher, the video could have chosen another way to illustrate honor, said the parent, explaining, “This video definitely promotes standing with patriotism and those who do not stand are unpatriotic. Peer pressure at its best.”

Another parent suggested the video could have highlighted honor through sacrifice, such as students giving up their Saturdays to rake the yards of the elderly or clean a local park.

One Cobb resident explained, “Given other issues in Cobb County School District — Confederate dress-up day  —  it’s infuriating they would dismiss the very real reasons why players are kneeling. Anyway, I think CCSD needs to educate their schools about students’ right not to stand.”

Principal Laura Montgomery heard the concerns and sent out an email to parents:

On the morning of October 18, 2017, a student-created video was shown on our Husky News Network to explain the chosen Character Education word – honor. For several years, the videos have been a favored activity of our homerooms, and a way for all children to be a part of the morning announcements

In this video, the students decided to use a scenario involving the Pledge of Allegiance with a student remaining seated. Following the explanation of the word honor, the video demonstrated how an individual could show honor by standing for the pledge. The next scene showed the previously seated young lady standing for the pledge and ended with a picture which paid tribute to our armed forces.

While the video was seen by a small number of faculty members, it was not viewed by an administrator prior to airing. Moving forward, all videos will be previewed by an administrator and we have engaged the faculty in a discussion about guiding children away from controversial topics when they are planning and filming explanations of the Character Education word.

I want you to know that Hightower Trail is an amazing school and we honor all students. One of our goals is to teach respect for every individual. I will be talking to the students on the Husky News Network on Friday morning and will emphasize to all of our students that one of the amazing qualities of our country is one’s right to respectfully hold one’s own opinion.

Many people believe that failing to stand for the pledge of allegiance or the national anthem signifies hatred of America. They cannot accept you can be a loyal American and still choose to kneel or sit. I was raised in a household that flew the flag and only bought American cars. My mother was the daughter of immigrants and became a fierce “love it or leave it” patriot. But that’s because she felt America welcomed and supported her. For those who feel America does not love or support them, it is not as simple.

Those condemning the athletes and cheerleaders kneeling to protest racism and police shootings ought to remember that angry mobs attacked the Freedom Riders integrating buses and the North Carolina college students who attempted to sit at white-only lunch counters. In polls in the 1960s, the majority of white Americans didn’t support these civil rights activists even though we recognize them now as heroes.

There is a wide racial divide in how Americans regard the silent protests of athletes. Last year, a Quinnipiac University Poll found white Americans disapproved of the protests by a margin of 63 percent to 30 percent. But black Americans approved 74 percent to 17 percent.

Perhaps, the next concept for the students and the rest of us to tackle should be empathy.

 

 

Reader Comments 0

99 comments
Admin1
Admin1

Most kids do not stand for the pledge anyway. High school or middle school. They are too busy looking at their phones or talking. 

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

To all, I wanted to share this email from a student. She used her name but I am leaving it off.

“I am a 7th grade student at Hightower trail Middle School. I saw the article and the mean hate comments concern me. They are showing hate towards innocent 8th grade students who didn't mean any harm. The article itself was very good and did not show any rudeness or hate. But s there any way you could take down hate comments toward the school? Our principal was very angry. “

The student was troubled by a comment in the piece from a parent at the school.

The parent said: “I think the timing is questionable and the brainwashing is obvious. The video clearly was created to persuade, ostracize, and pressure students into standing for the flag and reciting the pledge. Now many students are afraid if they do not recite or stand for the flag at school, they will be punished or shamed. In light of current events, the timing of the video could not be any worse. What happened to the first amendment?"

The 7th grader said: “This is not what goes on at our school. 8th graders made this video. Not politicians. They didn't mean any harm at all. Can we just let student make the video? One mistake and everyone is freaking out.”

Starik
Starik

@MaureenDowney Absolutely right. The kids made the video. Eighth graders are just beginning to be aware of political issues, and they will reflect what their parents teach them. Surprise!

Carlo Debalsi
Carlo Debalsi

People talk about this country how they hate it they hate the police they hate the president they hate the military they hate people that try to speak because they don't like what they're saying they hate it so much that they want to leave but they never do because they are aware that they couldn't get away with saying that in a lot of other countries so why don't you just get over yourself and try to conform to the laws and rules what you call fascism the alternative would be chaos love it or really keep your promise and leave it

Marvin Adams
Marvin Adams

Well these people aren’t talking about how they hate this country. Or the police. Or the military. However if you’re talking about “hating how people speak” you’re referring to Charlottesville or people like Alex Jones and Richard Spencer, then yeah, they probably do because everything out of their mouths is hate filled and ignorant. If that’s seriously what you think these people are saying by kneeling, you seriously need to actually listen to them. And if you still think that, you seriously need to reevaluate your definition of freedom.

Carlo Debalsi
Carlo Debalsi

I understand that they take a knee to protest the injustices in this country the problem that I have is that you don’t use the American flag has a scapegoat to get your point across What needs to be done is to get people that support the issues you want change is to vote I understand Hillary is won the popular vote but you also need the electoral votesYou get another shot at it and seven years

Jay Johnson
Jay Johnson

What does the Constitution say about FORCED ASSEMBLY......... please look it up for yourself, see for yourself is the point.

Gene Hartke
Gene Hartke

Disturbing. Forced patriotism is fascism and anti-American.

Starik
Starik

@Gene Hartke Really? I went to elementary school in the 1950s. It was unthinkable not to be "patriotic," at least superficially... Flag saluting, pledging allegiance, (I remember when they added "under god," and all that). Part of our population, 35% this morning think that was when America was "great."

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

What a twisted and destructive way to look at this. People should, of their own free will, understand what this Nation and our Constitution, liberty, and freedoms mean, what struggles and sacrifices it took to provide this for us and what as symbols of that our flag and Anthem represent. So, if a person of their own free will demonstrates a lack of understanding or intentional disrespect, or misappropriates what should be a show of respect and gratitude to promote a personal agenda, then that screams very loudly of their shortcomings or lack of character.

Note that the COFFINS coming back from Niger are draped with an American flag.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

You are right, they are free to dissent. There ARE inappropriate times and venues. And, people are free to choose to respect their dissent or not, or their chosen time and venue, which, intentionally or otherwise, becomes part of the message of dissent.

I encourage young people to stop and consider WHAT and WHO you are protesting, why, and to what end. If you perceive oppression consider very carefully the true and specific sources of that oppression, otherwise you are likely to cause more pain and harm than you could possibly cure.

And, BRV, authoritarian? Mirror, mirror . . .

BRV
BRV

It’s depressing but unsurprising that those who bleat the most about the Constitution and ”muh freedom” are almost invariably authoritarian at heart. Freedom includes the right to dissent. That legally enshrined freedom, not knee-jerk jingoism, is one of the things that makes this country great

Gene Hartke
Gene Hartke

Source? Maybe the other 65% know it wasn't great then for many folks.

BRV
BRV

The law doesn’t, nor should it, define when dissent is appropriate. In fact courts have ruled that students may not be compelled to stand for the pledge. That’s real freedom. As for your mirror nonsense ... child, please. I support your right to be flag hugger and the rights of those who disagree with you.

Will Dou Jones Boswell
Will Dou Jones Boswell

But wait you all told people to get off the football field and protest somewhere else. Now they're protesting in schools and again people are being told to move somewhere else. You all need to make up your minds.

Darren Serati
Darren Serati

Can you imagine any other country in the world where this would be "a concern"? People are taught to hate this country, our cops, and disregard all the good.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Yes. They have forgotten or dismissed President Kennedy's words "Ask not . . .".

Scott Linton
Scott Linton

It’s common with a certain demographic

Patti Gunnyon
Patti Gunnyon

So how has any of this crap helped except to create more separation?

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

I wonder if it has created more separation or just exposed the separation that has been there and building?

Damon Woodard
Damon Woodard

There is nothing "unpatriotic", nothing that shows disrespect or disparages our nation's military, nothing that means these students don't have love for this country... This is simply a subset of American's attempting to define what being American means - while subverting the Constitution altogether. I find it appalling that the very people calling for an end to person's kneeling or sitting during the anthem were applauding a woman who completely disrespected her position as a government official by NOT doing her job by signing marriage certificates for gay couples. I mean they literally held her hands up high in front of the building and hailed her a hero for standing up for her beliefs! So effing hypocritical it's not funny...

Kasandra Powell
Kasandra Powell

The Constitution is a living document and it is more than just a giant "2nd"

Lindsey Gregory
Lindsey Gregory

Literally students have the RIGHT NOT to stand. Compulsory allegiance is literally fascism

Damon Woodard
Damon Woodard

Perhaps the best usage of the word "literally"!

Brenda Moehring
Brenda Moehring

No, blacks not standing are naturally a threat to our country. When and if there is a conflict on our soil, these are the ones that will allow all hell to break loose and laugh when it destroys our country. Hope they have a back door to exit for their lives won't matter anymore. Put black panther up front. Bet they all will stand for that garbage. What has it done for you?

Daniel McDowell
Daniel McDowell

the reason why they are kneeling changes every week it seems... but since they continue to ignore black on black murders....the kneeling doesnt really have any meaning to it anymore....they only do it cause the cameras are there

Vertran Eugene
Vertran Eugene

You keep up with the score so well.......with white and black victims. The pledge of allegiance should be played at the start of your "game". What's that score again?

Nick Clifton
Nick Clifton

Like white people don't kill white people, they missed your memo in Vegas where they were slaughtered at the rednecc love opiates rally. Lmao

Edd King
Edd King

So im guessing only black people kneel? What an asinine comment

Franklin Giz
Franklin Giz

Nope, the reason definitely hasn’t changed. Also, original statement about black on black crime buddy 😂😂😂

Jill Bolduc
Jill Bolduc

What are the reasons for kneeling you’ve observed throughout the weeks?

Lindsey Gregory
Lindsey Gregory

It hasn't changed at all you willfully ignorant nitwit

Jennifer Fleming
Jennifer Fleming

That a way to show that being atheist doesn't automatically make you logical or intelligent. They've been kneeling for the same reason the entire time. Nothing has changed. Perhaps do research next time.

Artemis Strimenos Tjahjono
Artemis Strimenos Tjahjono

Ugh white people are so concerned about terrorists overseas or even domestic terrorism and yet have nothing to say about white on white crime.....

Paul Mitchell
Paul Mitchell

Nick Clifton what happened in Vegas would be called a slow month in Chicago and Detroit so try again

Lindsey Gregory
Lindsey Gregory

Lmao it's funny watching whypipo explain away white male terrorism.

Bobbi Liptrap
Bobbi Liptrap

You can choose what you want to insert into what the kneeling represents. The fact of the matter is you didn't start the movement and the man that did started did is protesting police brutality with no accountability. The fact that you can't accept that should tell you that the problem is real and you don't want to address it.

Django Edward
Django Edward

the focus/meaning is still what it was from the beginning .. the changing of/or trying to change the narrative has..and well.. I think most people with general knowledge (common sense) know this. \U0001f914

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

What blatantly screams out regarding the cheerleaders and student protests is this is a moment for education. This is an education op-ed and blog run by a supposed education advocate, yet she is focused on educating everyone but the students. There is a "p" word for what is being sold here, and it disgusts me to pay for it.

The NFL is different; those are adults.

James Jacks
James Jacks

The pledge of allegiance was written by a socialist. "One nation under God" was added in 1954 as an FU to the Soviet Union.

Lee Fullerton
Lee Fullerton

Also a violation of U S Flag Code. Again, what’s the message here?

readcritic
readcritic

One big problem today is hyphenating people. We are all Americans. Otherwise, everyone should use a hyphen to identify themselves since only the Native Americans are original to this country. We are not Irish-American, Polish-American, German-American, Spanish-American, Greek-American, British-American, African-American, etc. Our ancestors all came from somewhere else, but now we are all Americans and should be proud to stand together. The hyphen divides. Lose the hyphen and work on solutions to better every culture and person here without showing disrespect or making entitlement demands. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Kneeling during the anthem and refusing to stand for the Pledge does not solve anything. Put your deeds where your protest is. Get out there and do good things. That takes real effort and commitment!

JB-
JB-

@readcritic Kneeling for the anthem is not the problem - people who get their panties in a twist because somebody kneels for the anthem is. There are people being slaughtered, women being raped/harassed, extreme poverty etc all over the world and this is what you get morally indignant about? Please.


And yes - the kneeling had drawn attention to a problem of systemic racism in this country and achieved something good and important. Now move on.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

@JB- @readcritic

"...the kneeling had drawn attention to a problem of systemic racism in this country..."

Please enlighten us, WHAT SYSTEMIC RACISM?    Give us some examples and maybe those of us who have been against these kneeling "protests" will join you.

Astropig
Astropig

@readcritic


Agree and I will go a step further-


Modifying the word "justice". Anytime you attach another word to justice,you change its meaning completely.I like my justice without qualifiers.