Return to Patriotism Pledge of Allegiance Makes a Comeback in Secondary Schools
Waller, C. L., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: C. L. Waller Daily Herald Staff Writer
Morning announcements are changing and one Lake County school is even putting up flags in locker rooms to prepare for a change in state law that affects the new school year.
An amendment to the state school code now requires daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in secondary schools supported by public money.
School officials believe the idea will be met with favor by high school students, even the older ones who may be out of practice.
"After Sept. 11, there is a renewed sense of patriotism," said Grant High School Principal Marilyn Howell. "I think this will emphasize their pledge to their country."
Public elementary school students have been required by law to say the pledge daily since January 1980. At that time, former State Sen. John J. Nimrod of Skokie proposed that both elementary and secondary school students be required to say the pledge, but the Senate amended his proposal, deleting secondary schools.
With the patriotism that swept the country after Sept. 11, legislators in Springfield jumped on the bandwagon and changed the school code again to add secondary schools.
Requiring elementary age students who typically stay in one classroom to recite the pledge, however, may not be as challenging as requiring the pledge of high school students, who are more mobile and more independent in their views.
Libertyville High School Principal Joe Wojtena said extra flags for the building were ordered last spring and he expects students there will accept the idea.
"Everyone is in the patriotic mode. But it only takes one problem," Wojtena said.
Grayslake Community High School Principal Doug Domeracki said they will be working with sophomores, juniors and seniors who may be out of the habit of saying the pledge. …