NFL Needs a Thoughtful Response to National Anthem Protests

August 30, 2016   ·     ·   Jump to comments

It was my job to make teenagers stand for the Pledge of Allegiance for nearly 20 years.
I am a former public high school teacher. New Jersey state law requires students to stand for the pledge if they are physically capable of standing. Technically, students must also place their hands over their breasts and recite the pledge as well, but practicality dictated that they at least stand in respectful silence. Exceptions who had "conscientious scruples against such Pledge" were rare. 
When the Rodney King verdicts were announced, everyone still had to stand for the pledge. The morning after Columbine: Stand for the Pledge. The Wednesday morning after 9/11: Stand. After the O.J. verdict, after the 2000 election: Stand and stand. The day after two seniors from my school died in a car accident? Put aside your grief and stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Black kids, white kids, Christian kids, Jewish kids, Muslim kids, rich kids, poor kids, angry kids, popular k...

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