Brookline (MA) lawyer wants to ban Pledge of Allegiance


BROOKLINE, Mass. — A group of people in Brookline have pushed to ban the Pledge of Allegiance from schools — stirring some classroom controversy.

In April, the Brookline school committee voted to make the allegiance voluntary, but for some that isn’t enough.

Others wonder what’s wrong with the Pledge of Allegiance. Brookline lawyer Marty Rosenthal has an answer.

“It goes against tolerance and diversity,” said Rosenthal.

For decades, with hands on hearts, students have recited the pledge in homeroom each morning. But Rosenthal wants to ban the ritual because students can feel pressure.

“We think it’s analogous to bullying. It could promote bullying,” Rosenthal said. “Anything that’s a hot button issue that divides people is susceptible to bullying.”

Rosenthal is gathering signatures for a non-binding referendum. He said Holocaust survivors told him in the 1980’s that they didn’t like the pledge.

“It reminded them of the loyalty oaths in Nazi Germany,” Rosenthal said.

The school committee’s current policy tells principals to give the students an option to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Brookline schools at least once a week. The students can opt out.

“The school committee stands by the policy. We have certainly been given no indication there’s any problem with implementation,” said one woman.

At one elementary school in Brookline, parents are saying to keep the pledge…

The article continues, with video, at WHDH-TV.

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