Middle School Teacher Says 100% Of Her Students Don’t Stand For The Pledge Of Allegiance — ’It’s Not Even Acknowledged, Everyone Just Talks’

"I struggle with not wanting to be nationalistic and forcing beliefs on kids, but also respecting the tradition."

kids reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school Dennis MacDonald / Shutterstock

In many American schools, it's tradition to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning. In fact, in 47 states, the pledge is required to be recited in schools. But that doesn't necessarily mean the students have to partake. 

One middle school teacher shared on Reddit that none of her students choose to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, and she's wondering how to change that.

She said that 100% of her students don't stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

"In the past, I’ve just let students make their own choice about whether to stand for the pledge of allegiance or not as to respect their choice," she explained. "When given a choice, 100% of my students don’t stand and just continue talking through it during our morning announcements."


As someone who has lived in other countries besides the United States, the teacher said that she understands how peculiar the entire ritual is to non-Americans. "I can see it from the outside," she wrote. "I still went to school in the U.S. though, so it is engrained in me!"

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"I struggle with not wanting to be nationalistic and force beliefs on kids and also respecting the tradition and what the pledge represents," she continued. "I’ve told students that they don’t have to stand, but they do have to respect those [who] care by at least being quiet." 

She's also initiated conversations with her students about why the tradition exists.

"I myself stand with my hand over my heart but don’t recite the pledge," she shared, adding that she feels a need to be a model for her students, but still doesn't know if that's enough to make her students stand and say the Pledge. 


"I don’t know! What do y’all do?" she asked fellow Redditors.

Many teachers responded, insisting that students don't have to stand for the Pledge and that there's nothing educators can or should do to change that.

"It’s not even acknowledged in my class," one teacher shared. "Everyone talks through the morning announcements. None is us ever hear any of it. If any ask me I tell them it’s unconstitutional to make them say it." 

At the same time, another teacher added, "I teach middle school, I explain that they aren't required to stand BUT they are required to be silent and respectful during the pledge if they choose not to participate."

kids reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school Dennis MacDonald / Shutterstock


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A third teacher agreed, noting that when she was in high school, she never stood for the Pledge of Allegiance and didn't think twice when her students refused to. Instead, she uses that time to be a bit productive. 

"I think it’s generally seen as a ridiculous and empty tradition by most kids. I use the time to set up for my lesson and take attendance and don’t really think twice or feel guilty about it," she wrote.

Many students don't stand for the Pledge of Allegiance because they find it 'problematic.'

According to a November 2022 survey by Nordic News, only 17.2% of 157 students surveyed stood for the Pledge of Allegiance. Of the 123 students who sat down, 52% said they did so because they found the pledge problematic.


Some of those reasons included the religious beliefs associated with the Pledge since not everyone in this country believes in God. Others pointed out that there is a cruel and painful history attached to America and its flag. For many minorities and marginalized communities, there is no feeling of pride and love for America — a country that frequently refuses to protect most of its citizens. Because of that belief, they, too, refuse to stand for the Pledge.  

According to The Hill, 47 states in the U.S. require the Pledge of Allegiance to be recited in public schools, with varying exemptions for students or staff who wish to opt-out. However, the 1943 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, West Virginia V. Barnette, determined that no school or government can compel someone to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or salute the flag.

@attorneypish Can Public Schools Force you to Stand for the Pledge of Allegiance? #lawyer ♬ BILLIE EILISH. - Armani White

At the end of the day, standing for the Pledge of Allegiance is a personal choice, and public school educators shouldn't feel a need to change that fact or force their students to participate in a practice that they may not believe in. 


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.