Pledge restored in Madison, Wis., schools

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Members of the Madison, Wis., school board have voted to permit schoolchildren to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to comply with a state law that requires a daily display of patriotism.

One would feel inclined to say good for them if not for the fact that the school board never should have banned the pledge in the first place, which it did after some parents complained about the "one nation under God" section.

Two weeks ago, the board ruled out the pledge as a way for schools to comply with the new student patriotism law, but testimony at a recent meeting caused the board to reverse itself. Thousands of parents called the district, and hundreds showed up at a school board meeting where the pledge was discussed.

The district's anti-pledge policy was silly and knee-jerk, in light of the fact that the pledge does not ask anyone to subscribe to any religion. In this time of war, a pledge to honor this country is direly needed.

As one student there so eloquently put it: "It's bad enough Osama bin Laden has declared a holy war on us. It's a heck of a lot worse if we declare war on each other in the name of God."

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