MEDFORD, Ore. — A Southern Oregon school is defending their practice of not having students say the Pledge of Allegiance in their classes. Now, the Oregon House is considering a bill that would make the pledge of allegiance a daily requirement.
Madrone Trail, one of Medford school district’s two charter schools, is arguing against that bill. State law currently says that schools have to leave time to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every week. This bill would make it a daily requirement. It would also mandate that schools display a flag in every classroom.
Madrone Trail currently does not recite the pledge in their classrooms. They’re exempted because of their charter status, but if the bill passes as-is, the requirements would extend to them. Their director, Joe Frodsham, says if this is the case, it would be harmful to their students because they aren’t old enough to understand.
“It’s critical that children be taught, and that they be ready, and that they be old enough and have enough experience to understand the significance of a pledge. Because if you really think about the words in our pledge of allegiance, they’re pretty powerful and pretty serious,” Frodsham said.
Madrone Trail says they do start doing the pledge in later grades. They will be adding the eighth grade into their curriculum next year, and those students will participate. They also say that if the law changes, they will comply.
The House bill hasn’t yet come to a vote, although it has gone through public hearings. Even if it does pass, it could still go through changes as it makes its way through the legislature.