January 2011

Demanding Accountability

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By Joseph Snook

Do you remember standing with your hand over your heart, saying the words that enacted so many emotions and brought back so many memories? Today, it’s not the hand over your heart; it’s a fight to keep the fundamentals of America alive. One student, Chandler Cort is taking his fight – PUBLIC.

The Pledge of Allegiance says, "liberty and justice for all”

Written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, the Pledge of Allegiance has been used to promote many ideals. In its original form it was used to promote allegiance by citizens in any country. In the United States it has been used as an oath of loyalty to the United States of America's Flag, the Republic of the United States, celebrating Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas and the Youth's Companion Magazine.

The Pledge has been altered four times since introduced, and most recently, in 1954 when it was modified by Louis A. Bowman, to add the words “Under God,” which came from President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Despite many legal challenges to “do-away” with the Pledge, it is still versed by many to this day and as recently as November 12, 2010 a unanimous decision made by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston affirmed a lower federal courts ruling which found that the word “God” doesn’t violate students’ rights.

The issue today is many schools don’t recite the Pledge. Many students across America don’t even know the Pledge and many believe the Pledge should be in our public schools. Schools today which do honor the pledge, are required to give students the option to stand or sit while reciting the 31 words which mean so much to so many Americans. “It’s not about forcing someone to do something they don’t agree with, it’s about giving the ones who do agree, the right to do so,” one student stated, which has been backed up by the Supreme Court since 1943.

Pledge of allegiance


Chandler Cort, a sophomore at Rogue River High School in Southern Oregon is working hard to reinstate the Pledge of Allegiance at his school, which reportedly hasn’t recited the pledge in over nine years. He has addressed this issue with not only his teachers and the principal - he has gone directly to the students. Chandler has acquired signatures from thirty percent of the students and counting at Rogue River High, who have signed his petition in favor of bringing back the Pledge of Allegiance.

While attending a “Wake Up America” meeting, held in Rogue River, Oregon, Chandler voiced his issue over the pledge to group members and before the meeting adjourned, there were over 100 United States Constitution booklets that were donated to the students of Rogue River High School by the members of Wake Up America to show their support for Chandler, his fellow students and the Pledge of Allegiance.

It was obvious to this writer, after talking with Chandler, that he is proud to be an American and is trying to bring back something that he believes should have never been taken away from our schools, the right to Pledge Allegiance to “OUR” Flag.

Let’s hope School District 35 and Rogue River High School Principal, Jesse Pershin stay true to their vision - “Building Futures where Character Matters” as the students of Rogue River High School voice their character.

Please help Chandler and the Students of Rogue River High School keep the pledge and donate to their cause today! Help them fund special projects to gain public attention.

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