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DP to make patriotic observances

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(Brennon Goss / Photo)

Harry Menear | Entertainment Editor | Sept. 7, 2011

Some students at Dos Pueblos haven’t been required to say the Pledge of Allegiance daily since they were in elementary school. This state of affairs is about to change.

First introduced on May 5, 2009, District policy concerning Ceremonies and Observations (ID code: AR6115) states that “in every secondary school there shall be conducted daily appropriate patriotic exercises. The giving of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America shall satisfy such requirement.”

Then why, you may ask, have DP students not been required to say the pledge every day before class? The short answer is that DP has been ignoring the regulation.

Due to the regulation’s revision and reestablishment in May of this year, the Santa Barbara Unified School District has made it clear that Dos Pueblos must begin to perform daily patriotic exercises starting soon.

Dos Pueblos principal Shawn Carey expressed a desire for these exercises to be “very much student led in order to bring a sense of vitality and authenticity to the exercises.”

The duty would most likely fall to DP’s leadership class as well as DP News to make the observances heard across campus.

There has been concern voiced over the fact that these observances, twinned with episodes of DP News–that often overrun their alloted time–may deprive third  period students and teachers of valuable teaching time.

“If the program exceeds its five minute segment I am simply going to turn it off and proceed with the lesson,” says physics teacher Kerry Miller.

With some teachers though, the line between curricular education and patriotic duties isn’t so clearly divisive. Social studies teacher Todd Ryckman told The Charger Account: “I believe it is important that we make these observances and if they do spill over into the lesson a good teacher should be able to incorporate it and help students gain something from the experience.”

With teachers so divided, it comes as no surprise that students are not only voicing different opinions on the issue, but finding ways to bridge the gap between foaming-at-the-mouth patriotism and blasé disinterest displayed by DP’s diverse student population.

Sarah Minnis (sophomore) suggested that the observances be made optional speculating that enforced patriotism could possibly provoke resentment in a disillusioned student body. Amber Sharpe (sophomore) suggested that it be left up to the teachers whether or not they choose to interrupt their lessons for the observances.

Some students, like Nate Holmes, said they value their curricular education more highly than a ritualized act of devotion to an authority which is continually reducing public schools’ budget to educate their students.

“I do not believe that we (DP) should make these observances because they take time away from class which could be used to teach kids things that are relevant to the subject that they are learning,” says Holmes.

DP news is scheduled to begin broadcasting on October 3rd, so expect your daily dose of patriotic fervor to be administered in future third periods across the Dos Pueblos campus.

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12 Responses to “DP to make patriotic observances”

  1. Gabe on September 7th, 2011 4:26 PM

    im a sophomore here at DPHS and i believe that the patriotic exercises, should be mandatory and are necessary… great article!! well done


  2. Jon on September 8th, 2011 8:57 PM

    In a public school, this is constitutional . . . as long as they take back out the “under god” that was added in the 1950s!


  3. Patent of a 26 year old on September 9th, 2011 3:22 AM

    I’m with Nate Holmes on this one. Well said Mr Holmes.


  4. S Shrout on September 9th, 2011 8:14 AM

    What? You feel that saying the Pledge is “forced patriotism”? We are all lucky to live in this nation of freedom and saying the Pledge of Allegiance is a reminder to each and every one of us that that freedom didn’t come cheap. Reciting the pledge takes about 15 seconds. If that’s going to make or break your valued curriculum, you aren’t paying enough attention in class!


  5. 07 Alum on September 9th, 2011 8:47 AM

    I feel they should make it optional for the students to participate, and if they choose not to participate they should be able to leave them room. I for one do not like to recite the Pledge of Allegiance because of the fact that it mentions god and states liberty and justice for all which is not really true. If I was in school I would rather listen to the Star Spangled Banner every morning than the Pledge of Allegiance. Just wanted to put my two cents in.

    Nate Holmes and Sarah Minnis are both spot on.


  6. Mark Kincaid on September 9th, 2011 9:31 AM

    A real patriot would know that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling — which is the law of the land — said that students cannot be compelled to say the pledge. And a real patriot would understand that such coercion might be appropriate for China (who is paying the bills for the opposition to President Obama’s America Jobs Act) but is totally contrary to the concepts upon which this country was founded.


  7. JCV on September 9th, 2011 10:20 AM

    A few minutes each day to pay tribute to this great country and to those who died defending it isn’t asking too much, is it? I think not. And to those in this article that said it’s more important to them to focus on the “curricular education”, come on. Those who sacrificed are the reason why you can even have the “curricular education”. I grew up saying the pledge of allegiance everyday before school, and later served in the Army. It never bothered me to recite the pledge each day, and it never will. We live in the best country in the world, remember that.


  8. Mark Olson on September 9th, 2011 3:47 PM

    It’s all become redundent borderling obsessive. I believe most all of us stand loyal and patriotic to our nation and it’s beliefs. Seems almost rediculous to pledge something daily for beliefs we hold within ourselfs. How ’bout a simple and pain free rally b4 each semester. I don’t believe married couples renew their vows daily. Do you?


  9. Mark Olson on September 9th, 2011 3:48 PM

    oops…..borderlining. lol


  10. Carla Reeves on September 9th, 2011 6:40 PM

    Nate, until you are a tax paying adult, I think your opinion is anecdotally interesting but it doesn’t carries any weight! I have lived in 3 countries besides the US and believe me….you are the recipient of a FABULOUS public school education with many, many freedoms, which are paid for by citizen tax-payers! When you are an adult and a tax-payer you might go to some other countries to observe, and come back here and thank your lucky stars that you were born and raised here! Showing your respect for the American flag is the least you can do!


  11. Randall Berger on September 17th, 2011 5:10 AM

    This seems to come up every few years … usually when there is some sort of political backlash. I went to DP during the Vietnam War. We were known as “Hippie High” because of our proximity to Isla Vista and the number of reactionary students.

    I can remember people not standing and saying the Pledge of Allegiance in first period. By high school, I was just so used to the daily ceremony, it became rote … meaningless. Then I thought those who DIDN’T say it were giving it meaning. I took notice and said it with new meaning.

    In some countries, they sing the national anthem at school assembly. That’s a good show of support, too. In England, they sing “God Save The Queen,” which is just “My Country Tis Of Thee” with the original lyrics.

    I agree that you should be patriotically observant in some way shape or form. You may not agree with the way things are going politically, but it is the country you live in and is giving you a life.

    Yes, the rebelliousness of youth is bringing non-violent protest bubbling to the surface … it always does … but don’t forget there are a lot of people who have, do and will lay their lives down to protect that flag and you should respect their right to say so.

    Say it or don’t say it … Just don’t disrespect the Flag or what it stands for, OK?


  12. Judy Pearce on September 30th, 2011 9:39 PM

    We don’t pay alligence to a flag but to our country. The “under God” was added in 1953, lobbied for by the Knights of Columbus”, a Catholic men’s group. Congress didn’t dare to vote it down, anyone against it would have been called a “Communist”. It wasn’t orginally in there and should be taken out now. Our freedoms include “Freedom of speech”, no one should be made to say the pledge if they don’t want to.


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DP to make patriotic observances