School board votes not to recite Pledge of Allegiance due to capitalization of word ‘God’ and diversity issues

The public school board in Fargo, North Dakota, voted on Tuesday to stop reciting the oath of allegiance at school board meetings, citing diversity issues and the oath’s use of the phrase “a nation under God”.

The action reverses an earlier decision by the school board to begin reciting the pledge at meetings. The motion to include the pledge was approved in March by a 6-2 vote, with vice president and current board member Seth Holden as well as current board member Jim Johnson voting against the measure.

“I move that the Fargo School Board rescind the action it took on March 22, 2022 in which it voted to begin each regular meeting with an oath of allegiance immediately after the call to order,” Holden said at the Aug. 9 meeting of the Fargo school board. (RELATED: Mom reads her daughter’s alleged assignment aloud. School board cuts her off because it’s too obscene)

Holden clarified that the motion was not related to removing the oath of allegiance from schools and classrooms, but only from school board meetings. Holden said he was concerned that using the phrase ‘one nation under God’ in the pledge would violate the school’s stated commitment to diversity, as well as making a statement he believed to be false. , because many religions are represented in America.

“Since the word ‘God’ in the text of the Pledge of Allegiance is capitalized,” Holden said, “the text clearly refers to the Judeo-Christian God, and therefore does not include any other religion, such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, all practiced throughout the country and among our staff and students at FPS.

Holden added that atheists and agnostics would also be excluded from the sentence.

“I think the exclusion or absence of these religions in the oath automatically makes the oath of allegiance a non-inclusive act in itself. For the board to start every meeting by engaging in a non-inclusive act goes against our philosophy at FPS.

Holden then read an excerpt from the school’s Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Statement posted on the FPS website. “Education is best where schools are made up of students, teachers and families from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, cultures, ‘races’/ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations. Yet, a diverse school community alone is not enough. Inclusion matters,” reads the council’s website.

“The Board of Directors cannot simultaneously fully support this statement, our District’s philosophy, or the work of our Department of DEI to the fullest and begin each of its meetings with a non-inclusive act,” Holden added.

Holden also said that the phrase “freedom and justice for all” was wrong because, he argued, not all Americans have freedom or justice. “It is also an indisputable fact and it is a fact on which I hope we can all agree that not all American citizens have the liberty and justice which is set forth in the pledge, thus making the line ‘one nation with liberty and justice for all’ is a misrepresentation,” Holden said. (RELATED: Woman Blames Virginia School Board For Introducing CRT Into Teacher Training)

School board member Robin Nelson, who voted against the proposal, called it a “distraction”.

“Please give me the opportunity to stand at the start of meetings and say the oath of allegiance and I would respectfully request that you not participate, but please do not deny me that right,” Nelson said. .

Holden declined The Daily Caller’s request for comment.

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