Thursday, November 09, 2006

Just When You Thought it Was Safe on Campus...Yea Right

The following is from

Higher education at work via Reuters:

Student leaders at a California college have touched off a furor by banning the Pledge of Allegiance at their meetings, saying they see no reason to publicly swear loyalty to God and the U.S. government.

The move by Orange Coast College student trustees, the latest clash over patriotism and religion in American schools, has infuriated some of their classmates -- prompting one young woman to loudly recite the pledge in front of the board on
Wednesday night in defiance of the rule.

"America is the one thing I'm passionate about and I can't let them take that away from me," 18-year-old political science major Christine Zoldos told Reuters.

"The fact that they have enough power to ban one of the most valued traditions in America is just horrible," Zoldos said, adding she would attend every board meeting to salute the flag.

The move was lead by three recently elected student trustees, who [ran] for office wearing revolutionary-style berets and said they do not believe in publicly swearing an oath to the American flag and government at their school. One student trustee voted against the measure, which does not apply to other student groups or campus meetings.

The ban follows a 2002 ruling by a federal appeals court in San Francisco that said forcing school children to recite the pledge was unconstitutional because of the phrase "under God." The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the ruling on procedural grounds but left the door open for another challenge.

The OC Register has more:

Three of five Associated Students trustees took the action Monday, with board
member Jason Ball calling the flag salute "irrelevant to the business of student

"While it's great to be an American, and I'm proud to be an American,
yadda-yadda-yadda, and I appreciate all the rituals, I'm done" saluting the
flag, Ball said Wednesday...

...While religious overtones were one element of the trustees' motivation,
other concerns existed. "Nationalism is something that divides people," said
Ball, wearing black boots, a beret and a hammer-and-sickle pin.

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