Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Public School Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words
Public School - Essay Example Mr. Bellamy, the magazine's circulation director, brought together those words to be recited by children in celebration of Columbus Day. The pledge was reprinted and sent out to schools across the country, and more than 12 million students joined in that year. Very shortly after that, Mr. Bellamy's composed words became an everyday service in the nation's classrooms. The words "my Flag" were replaced by the phrase "the Flag of the United States of America", in June 1923, at the National Flag Conference in Washington. In 1924 the oath's wording was changed slightly (the original "my flag" became "the flag of the United States of America"). Officially recognized by the government in 1942, the pledge became compulsory in some public schools, but the following year the Supreme Court ruled that recitation could not be required of any individual. It continues, however, to be mandatory or recommended in a majority of the states and is a daily fixture in most American classrooms. The final alteration to the pledge occurred in 1954 when, by a joint order of Congress, the words "under God" were inserted. The change is usually ascribed to a cold-war attempt at differentiating the United States from officially atheistic Communist countries. The addition caused little stir when it was enacted, but in 2002 opposition to it resulted in a federal appeals court ruling that the words are unconstitutional because they violate the First Amendment's prohibition against government endorsement of religion. An appeal of the controversial decision is pending. (W. Baer, 1992) Thesis Statement An allegiance to one's country eventually leads to active civic and political involvement and engagement. Body of the Essay Services, forms and customs of patriotism were first employed in the United States between the Civil War and World War I. At the end of the bloodiest civil war of the 19th century, the combatants left the battlefields for political, economic, and cultural arenas, where the struggle to make a nation continued with renewed intensity. In fact, many of the patriotic denotations and rituals that we now take for granted or think of as timeless were created during this period and emerged not from a harmonious, national consensus, but out of fiercely contested debates, even over the wording of the Pledge. Confronted by the dilemma that Americans are made, not born, educators and organizations, such as the Grand Army of the Republic, Women's Relief Corps, and Daughters of the American Republic, campaigned to transform schools, in George Balch's words, into a "mighty engine for the inculcation of patriotism." The point is not to downplay the value of civic knowledge or the promise of America's democratic commitments to equality and justice; rather, it is to help students use their love of country as a motivation to critically assess what is needed to make it better. Public Schools do not intend to turn students into critics of the United States, such that they do not portray any appreciation for its virtues. At the same time, these schools are not failing to assist the students in recognizing the role critique can play as a way to help make society better. An allegiance to one's country eventually leads to active involvement. This is also evident from the survey in a number of public schools.