The Fargo School Board in North Dakota voted this week to halt reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in its bi-weekly meetings because it does not align with the school district’s diversity code.
The decision was made on Wednesday in a 7-2 vote. The Board pointed to the reference to the deity of a specific religion as clashing with the diversity code, because the mention of God with a capital G refers to the Judeo-Christian God, and does not include the gods of other religions that exist within the school system. The move comes just months after a March 22 vote to begin reciting the Pledge before Board meetings.
“Given that the word ‘God’ in the text of the Pledge of Allegiance is capitalized,” Holden said. “The text is clearly referring to the Judeo-Christian god and therefore, it does not include any other face such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, all of which are practiced by our staff and students at FPS,” said Board member Seth Holden.
The North Dakota Republican Party has criticized the decision to rescind the Pledge from the start of the meetings, calling it “laughable.”
“These positions like by the Fargo School Board just don’t align with North Dakota values. The logical solution is to just give parents that option to help educate their kids,” said State Senator Scott Meyer (R-Grand Forks). State Republicans have promised to rally against the decision to halt reciting the Pledge by drafting a new school choice voucher bill and bringing it in front of the state legislature.
“Right now, every North Dakota family has the right to send their kids to public schools to parochial schools to private schools or to homeschool them — so they already have school choice,” said head of the education union North Dakota United, Nick Archuleta to CBS News. “What they’re asking for is for the public dollars to pay for those decisions. Our position has been and always will be that money raised from the public tax collections should be used for public purposes, including public education.”
The state legislature reconvenes in January, when state Republicans plan to have the new proposal ready.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: INFORUM.COM
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