Permission Slips for Pledge of Allegiance Sets Off Firestorm for Boston School

School sends home permission slips for Pledge of Allegiance

A Brookline school is now saying permission slips won’t be necessary for students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Edward Devotion School, which has not recited the Pledge of Allegiance in seven years, will say the Pledge over the school’s intercom once a week beginning next month.

Gerardo Martinez, the school’s principal, initially said the permission slips were sent to encourage parents to have a discussion with their kids about the Pledge.

The principal also says he sent this note out to parents just to let them know it was okay if they do not want their kids to participate.

Unfortunately for the principal, the thought of a permission slip to recite the Pledge set off a fire storm. Eventually the principal sent out a second note to parents explaining that it was not mandatory to sign the permission slips.

It is state law for teachers to lead their classes in daily pledges at the start of school. Under Brookline school policy, the recitation may take place weekly, according to Martinez.

This is the original letter sent to parents earlier this week:

Dear Devotion Families,

Many of you are aware that Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, Section 69, requires a flag to be displayed in each school classroom. This law also requires classes to be lead in a group recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. Public Schools of Brookline policy provides that this recitation may take place weekly.

Additionally, as part of that Massachusetts History/Social Science frameworks and the Brookline Learning Expectations (BLE) there is a learning objective that students be able to “Demonstrate understanding that there are important American symbols by identifying … the words of the Pledge of Allegiance.”

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