ERIC Number: EJ904663
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Reference Count: 16
Controversy over the Pledge of Allegiance Continues
Russo, Charles J.
School Business Affairs, v76 n3 p36-38 Apr 2010
This article discusses the steady stream of litigation that emerged shortly after the Pledge of Allegiance was introduced in 1892. The constitutionality of requiring students to take part in its daily recitation in schools continues to be challenged. Parents who objected to the statute and the words "under God" in the pledge filed suit, alleging that the phrase violated the rights of their children under the establishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment, as well as their due process and equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiffs also claimed that the recitation of the pledge violated their parental rights to raise their children in accord with their own beliefs. The parents, who identified themselves as atheists or agnostics, sought an order preventing school officials from complying with a state statute. As courts discuss "under God" in the pledge, judges must examine the effect that striking down the pledge might have on American schools and society as a whole in terms of what it means for national unity. Put another way, might the public lose respect for the judiciary as an institution if it were to strike down the pledge? As disputes over the words "under God" play themselves out, the courts will be on the front line of sustaining long-held traditions, such as recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance or setting in motion further conflict that will affect the day-to-day activities of school business officials and other education leaders who are charged with educating the nation's students.
Descriptors: Parent Rights, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Court Litigation, Student Rights, School Business Officials, Parent Attitudes, Religion, State Church Separation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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