I'm subbing this year, and I periodically end up in a position where I have to lead the pledge of allegiance. I generally stand in the back of the room and just leave out the words "under god," but I wondered how anyone else deals with it.  :)  Any thoughts?

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I am a teacher in the state of Kansas (yes, Kansas), where it is state law that the pledge of allegiance is said every morning. I basically do the same thing as you and omit "under god" if I feel like no one is looking. Saying the pledge honestly doesn't bother me that much because I can get behind everything else in it with the exception of "under god". That doesn't mean I am a super patriot that thinks America can do no wrong. Anyways, beyond what I have just said, there isn't much else I do because I have so many things to deal with throughout my day. I don't think it is right we have to say the pledge, and I would support a law that banned it from being said in public schools. But the pledge is a fairly minor issue in my profession. As the saying goes, you've got to pick and choose your battles.
I guess I'm touchy about it because when it was in high school we were all supposed to say it. I refused and got to spend some time in the principal's office, which was followed by an angry phone call from my dad to the school. I brought the principal a stack of information from the ACLU website the next day, all about schools that had lost law suits for forcing people to say the pledge. It was the last I heard of it there.

The biggest problem, I think, is that students usually aren't taught that they have the right to not say it. I had teachers who said it reverently, but I also had a few who didn't say it at all. In the grand scheme of thing it really isn't the biggest issue, but I'm always glad to get some input!
I have said the pledge every school day for 17 years (longer because I was also a sub for five years before that) I have always just left out the god part. I have never had one student ask me why I don't say it. For me I just don't feel like I can recite that part. I have no problem showing my allegiance to my country, just not to a god.
I do it everyday - I guess I have done it so much in my lifetime that I do it mindlessly. I teach the older kids, and they know the pledge, so they usually are handling it w/o needing my "leadership" on each word. I teach history, and we talk about our freedoms in this country, and I always let them know it is their choice to say it or not, or to say parts or all - their choice. All I require is that they are quiet and respectful if they choose not to say it.

I guess because I am used to being in the Bible belt and everything having to do with God, that I just filter it out.

Good luck with it.
I'm glad you teach them they don't have to say it! Having that knowledge probably helps more of them than you know. :)
I haven't had to deal with this as a teacher, but since I've relatively recently had to deal with it as a student, I thought I'd give you my take on it regardless. I've never liked the idea of leading children in saying a pledge to the country or it's symbol (or anything else for that matter).

I was opposed to this even as a christian, because I saw such a mindless ritual was just another means of child indoctrination. I think that these kinds of rituals (along with birthdays and other such holidays) were just another way to keep citizens trapped in the same old nationalistic consumer lifestyle which seems to be pushing back the progress of our society.

Since losing my faith and coming to terms with reality, my position against irrational rituals of any kind has only grown more radical. I have come to the realization that the christian indoctrination I was subjected to as a child did me great harm emotionally and psychologically, and I'm still struggling to get on with my life after spending years working to overcome these obstacles.

I do not think that any US citizen should be forced, or even encouraged to repeat words handed down to them by authority figures, especially before they are able to understand the meaning of the concepts being pounded into their heads. Adding in a god, or "God" as the more ignorant (grammatically or otherwise) among us might prefer, is just another step further beyond a line already broken.

As a student I refused to say the pledge, not because of anything within it which I disagreed with, but because the very nature of the pledge is unamerican in my eyes.

I'm student teaching right now, and the pledge is said every Monday morning over the intercom.  I usually join in if a student does (they don't always), but I never say "under god."  Even as a Christian, I objected to "under God," going so far as to write my first college-level persuasive essay on the subject.  As a child, my biggest objection was the fact that it's a pledge of allegiance to a FLAG, and "the republic" is sort of an afterthought.

I won't force any students to say it, or to even be quiet during it, but if I see a student who's participating, I'll join in.

That's a cool way to do it!  Then if you have just one student saying it, they don't feel like the odd one out.  :)
I have to lead the pledge this year and I do what you do. I leave it out. If anyone asks i don't mind telling them that I prefer not to say it. But, nobody asks. No big deal.
The last time I mouthed some of the pledge was when I spoke at an American Legion dinner (and I was sitting/standing in front of everyone!).  Quite uncomfortable, esp since I am by nature iconoclastic and heretical and don't care for anyone telling me what I have to do or say.  I think anytime adults teach youth to repeat "sacred" words that become rote and people feel uncomfortable not saying the words (or covering their heart!) it gets seriously close to pure propaganda (whether the pledge or the lord's prayer or the national anthem).  I've always been irritated to say the least by those who cause me to feel like an outsider or question my patriotism/matriotism depending on how much I conform.  There is a kind of robotic mindlessness that rational people have to counter, even by non-participation.  Isn't that the true american way after all?




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