DP to make patriotic observances
Harry Menear | Entertainment Editor | Sept. 7, 2011
Some students at Dos Pueblos haven’t been required to say the Pledge of Allegiance daily since they were in elementary school. This state of affairs is about to change.
First introduced on May 5, 2009, District policy concerning Ceremonies and Observations (ID code: AR6115) states that “in every secondary school there shall be conducted daily appropriate patriotic exercises. The giving of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America shall satisfy such requirement.”
Then why, you may ask, have DP students not been required to say the pledge every day before class? The short answer is that DP has been ignoring the regulation.
Due to the regulation’s revision and reestablishment in May of this year, the Santa Barbara Unified School District has made it clear that Dos Pueblos must begin to perform daily patriotic exercises starting soon.
Dos Pueblos principal Shawn Carey expressed a desire for these exercises to be “very much student led in order to bring a sense of vitality and authenticity to the exercises.”
The duty would most likely fall to DP’s leadership class as well as DP News to make the observances heard across campus.
There has been concern voiced over the fact that these observances, twinned with episodes of DP News–that often overrun their alloted time–may deprive third period students and teachers of valuable teaching time.
“If the program exceeds its five minute segment I am simply going to turn it off and proceed with the lesson,” says physics teacher Kerry Miller.
With some teachers though, the line between curricular education and patriotic duties isn’t so clearly divisive. Social studies teacher Todd Ryckman told The Charger Account: “I believe it is important that we make these observances and if they do spill over into the lesson a good teacher should be able to incorporate it and help students gain something from the experience.”
With teachers so divided, it comes as no surprise that students are not only voicing different opinions on the issue, but finding ways to bridge the gap between foaming-at-the-mouth patriotism and blasé disinterest displayed by DP’s diverse student population.
Sarah Minnis (sophomore) suggested that the observances be made optional speculating that enforced patriotism could possibly provoke resentment in a disillusioned student body. Amber Sharpe (sophomore) suggested that it be left up to the teachers whether or not they choose to interrupt their lessons for the observances.
Some students, like Nate Holmes, said they value their curricular education more highly than a ritualized act of devotion to an authority which is continually reducing public schools’ budget to educate their students.
“I do not believe that we (DP) should make these observances because they take time away from class which could be used to teach kids things that are relevant to the subject that they are learning,” says Holmes.
DP news is scheduled to begin broadcasting on October 3rd, so expect your daily dose of patriotic fervor to be administered in future third periods across the Dos Pueblos campus.