I wasn’t surprised to see the Pledge of Allegiance being recited Thursday morning at Wiley Elementary School in Hutchinson, but I was surprised at some of the comments readers posted on our Facebook page.
Photographer Tim Goessman and I visited Wiley early Thursday to see the first day of school. Not long after we returned, I posted one of his photos on The Hutchinson News Facebook page showing the large group of children with their hands over their hearts reciting the pledge in the school gym before classes started.
The first comment was: “very good-what other schools do this or are they afraid to do this?”
Another comment followed: “FANTASTIC!!!! hope all schools start doin this again!!”
My first thought was, “When did students ever stop doing this?” I called Ray Hemman, USD 308 spokesman, to get his input.
“It never left,” Hemman said of the Pledge of Allegiance. “We say it at graduation, we say it at every board meeting – it’s very much a part of our culture here at USD 308.”
Hemman noted the Pledge of Allegiance isn’t mandated, however, or in the district’s handbook, “but it’s common.” School officials would respect anyone who chooses not to say it, he said.
By 5 p.m. Thursday, about 650 people had “liked” the photo on The Hutchinson News Facebook page and more than 80 shared it with their Facebook friends.
Other comments included:
· “One nation UNDER GOD!”
· “What Bible passage was read?”
· “Thank God, somebody finally came to their senses!! Thank you Wiley school. Hope more will follow your example”
· “It’s really sad when we have to compliment and brag on the schools for starting the day with the Pledge of Allegiance! I am so proud of all the schools that make this an important part of the day.”
· “As it should be at the beginning of class just like the old days of school!”
· “Excellent! This is America! Should do it every day in every school.”
· “Because nothing says ‘freedom’ like Orwellian ritual.”
· “That’s awesome! A public school getting sued right off the bat of a new year. Keep your religion out of our schools and we’ll keep science out of your churches.”
· “Way to go, Wiley!”
By Darcy Gray