2008-05-03 / Editorials & Letters

Pledge is being said

Editor,

Due to recent letters published by the Beacon, I felt compelled to respond in regard to reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at Millersport Elementary.

I have three children in Walnut Township School District (one in high school, one in junior high and one in elementary). During their school careers and to this very day, the Pledge of Allegiance has been consistently recited. I stood today in the high school with students, teachers, and administrators and recited the Pledge. My youngest daughter faithfully says the Pledge of Allegiance daily in Mrs. Clark's classroom. I have been in the elementary school on Friday mornings in the hallways when everyone stops in their tracks, puts their hands on their hearts, and recites the Pledge with the entire student body.

Every one of my children know the Pledge and why we say it. Patriotism and love of our country has been foundational in my family. My ancestors fought in the Civil War for the Union. My grandfather James E. Slocumb fought in WWI and my dad, James E. Slocumb Jr., fought with the 10th Mountain Division in the Army during WWII. I have very close friends and relatives serving today with various branches of our honorable and courageous military. I guess you could say that patriotism is in my blood. I only bring up these points to let you know that, if I had any doubt that the Pledge of Allegiance was not being respected and recited in our elementary school, I would be in the principal's officemyself finding out why and demanding change. That has not been my experience at all in any of our school buildings.

Last week elementary Principal Cheryl Thomson sent out the following note to all parents in the elementary due to the controversy stirred in the recent weeks. I felt it was worth including because it speaks first hand to her heart toward our country and the importance she feels in conveying that to our students. This is the note, word for word, by Principal Cheryl Thomson:

Dear Parents,

Recent events and inquiries concerning the saying of the Pledges of Allegiance prompted me to write this letter.

I want you to know that I strongly encourage students and adults to grow in the knowledge, respect, and pride for our country and all that it stands for. Please know that we will continue to honor the Red, White & Blue with the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance within individual classrooms and collectively, every Friday, which will be led by representatives from the 3rd grade.

Sincerely, Cheryl Thomson

I believe this note is sincere. If anyone continues to doubt, make a visit to either school some morning and see for yourself. Come to school, sign in at the office,and visit your child's classroom. You will have a chance to participate with them in the Pledge of Allegiance. It's a wonderful experience. Next November, come to the Veteran's Day program that the entire district participates in at the high school. You will witness the awesome tribute they give to our veterans and service men and women. We have students from all ages that are encouraged by our district to participate in our community Memorial Day Parade every year.

Respect and love for our country has always been a priority at Walnut Township Schools. It has been this way before Principal Thomson came to our district, and it has continued to be that way since she arrived. I'm confidentthat years from now, it will still be the case. Dina Reasoner Millersport

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