I Pledge My Allegiance

The school day begins with the Pledge of Allegiance at all Prince William County Schools (PWCS). Schools are required to provide an opportunity for students to participate in the Pledge each day and to display the American Flag in all classrooms.

According to the PWCS Regulation 052.01, all students, teachers, and any visitors in the school are expected to stand respectfully while the Pledge is being said. However, individuals who choose not to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance for religious or other deep personal convictions are expected to stand or sit quietly out of respect for the views of others.

As a military child, it pains me to see that out of my class of twenty-four students, only three, including me, stand for the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. From my great grandpa Possemato to my own two parents, my family has a strong affiliation with the American Armed Forces. Growing up in such an environment has made me passionate about this topic.

Some educators are equally passionate about students standing during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Former Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) teacher Richard Ferrick forcefully lifted a fifteen year old student up by his arm after he refused to stand for the pledge. As a result, Ferrick was removed from the classroom.

FCPS Superintendent Scott Bradbrand said in a press release, “The incident at Centerville High School is unacceptable behavior by a classroom instructor and directly violates an existing and long- standing [Fairfax County Public Schools] policy.”

Whether schools require students to participate or not, all students, particularly in the Northern Virginia area, should realize just how personal the Pledge is to many individuals in our community.

Hylton Senior Traeton Williams’ father works as a civilian at Fort Belvoir.

“Everyone should stand for the pledge, the reason being that it’s not just a sign of respect for the nation, but also for all the men and women who have laid down and still risk their lives today,” said Williams.