To Pledge or Not to Pledge?

Max Meyer

Slightly more than half of students say they recite the Pledge of Allegiance, while far fewer recite Manual’s Creed.

Every Monday morning students are expected to represent their school and country by reciting the pledge of Allegiance and the duPont Manual creed. However, according to a survey of 305 students conducted by CMA, only 55% of students recite the pledge and 21% of students recite the creed.

“I think that the pledge and the creed are very important,” said HSU senior Wil Craig. “When I am out in the hallway I always stop during the pledge, wherever I am, it’s just respect. As for the creed I think it’s also very important and everyone should say it everyday instead of just Monday. It unites the school.”

Only 33% of the students surveyed know the creed and 34% find any significance in reciting either the pledge or creed in the mornings. “I don’t really think that the creed has any significance to the school anymore. Choosing to come to this school in the first place, I feel, is enough of a statement of my allegiance,” says HSU senior Alex Hunninghake. Of the surveyed students, 63% think that the creed should be dropped from the morning announcements entirely. 64% of survey respondents said they sit down after the pledge before the creed every week.

The survey points to a lack of school spirit when it comes to the creed, but when it comes to their country 79% of the students called themselves patriotic. “I think that the pledge is really important to be recited in a public school, I stand and say it every day, but if a student doesn’t say it I don’t think that makes them unpatriotic. A patriot is just someone who loves their country and is willing to make sacrifices for it,” said MST senior Ellen Riley. “The creed is just us telling everyone we’re better than them, but if we say it in the mornings we’re only telling ourselves. I don’t even know it all or why we keep doing it because no one even bothers to say it.”

Some members of the faculty think the pledge and creed are important, but have moral qualms about asking students to say them against their wishes. One such teacher is Communication/Media Arts teacher Mr. Jamie Miller. “I think it’s more important that a student knows and appreciates what the pledge and creed stand for instead of having them pledge their allegiance to a rote and empty ritual that means nothing to them,” he said. “I don’t know who wrote the creed but I have never met a student who has willingly pledged to established authority.”

Others, such as math teacher Ms. Kathleen Geary, support the creed and pledge but have found they have difficulty persuading students to join in. “I think the creed is a very important part of our school,” she said. “It shows unity like the Red/White cheer. I see so many kids talking during it that I once tried to start giving out extra credit to students who sang along to the creed but I eventually got in trouble for that, so I stopped.”

HSU senior Jeremy Blum agreed that they should be recited. “Doing small things like saying the pledge just shows respect for the people who have given their lives to make our country what it is today. Even if you don’t want to recite it at least stand up and put your hand over your heart, our country does so much for us and asks for so little in return, and right now it needs us more than ever,” he said. “As for the creed, it’s just a way to show respect for the school that is going to help you have a good future. It looks good to have Manual on your resumé so you might as well show some pride and say it.”