Pledge Seen, Not Heard


Lainie Rowland, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Stragglers linger in the emptying hallways and the metallic bell clangs through and reverberates off of the hollow lockers. As the loudspeaker crackles on and the static of the Pledge of Allegiance pervades the school, nothing changes. The stragglers walk onwards, head down. In some classrooms, a faction of the students mouth the opening phase, “I pledge allegiance…”

Everyday, the routine repeats itself in an ignored ritual of patriotism. A minority of Madison High School students actually says the Pledge of Allegiance out loud. For the most part though, Francis Bellamy’s famous words, which are engrained in the minds of virtually all Americans, go unspoken.

When the Madison Dodger Online questioned teachers about their Pledge-saying habits, many of the sentiments of the professional staff here at Madison reflected the same tendencies of students. However, does silence infer something less than patriotism? Mr. Debiasse, the supervisor of the Humanities department for grades 6-12, states, “I stand at attention out of respect.” And for the most part, that’s the truth. I do not believe that any Madison student, teacher or faculty member intentionally snubs the flag.

Mrs. Fastiggi, however, is baffled by the silence that accompanies the Pledge of Allegiance. “This is the only place I’ve ever been to where kids and teachers don’t say the pledge.” Even in Madison elementary schools and the Madison Junior School, saying it is a well established routine.

To be honest, the restless shuffling that occurs for the duration of the Pledge’s reading, is also awkward and uncomfortable. No student wants to be the first to open their mouth. In the lower grades, there’s a certain comfort to hearing everyone else’s words mesh with yours.

At the high school however, there is no chorus to add your voice to.