Veterans in Sioux Falls Tuesday asked the Sioux Falls school board to mandate saying the Pledge of Allegiance at the high school level, and they were shot down. However, saying the pledge in middle schools is mandatory in Sioux Falls.
In the Rapid City School District, saying the pledge isn't mandatory at any level. The majority of middle and elementary schools still have their students do it, while high school does not.
At General Beadle Elementary School, the Pledge of Allegiance isn't required, but it is still led in classrooms on a daily basis.
This includes Mrs. Brandy Perkins' fourth grade class. "I have my kids do the pledge because I feel it's a way for them to honor their country and it's something that I grew up doing and it's important to me, so I have it here in my classroom," said Perkins.
The words of the pledge are important Guillermo Arguello, one of Perkins' students. "They mean to me, like, people have died for us, many of times. And everyone says that but no one, I don't think anyone gets that anymore," said Arguello.
While reciting the pledge, Arguello has a specific thought in mind. "Just remember that people have done very good things for us and we need to remember them and always remember them," said Arguello.
Jerry Wright, a veteran, says citizenship, civic involvement, and civic understanding are taught by saying the pledge. "Pledging allegiance to this country, you understand that you have some benefits and responsibilities," said Wright.
Wright says making time for the pledge mandatory in schools should be seriously considered to teach students to stand up for what is important. "If they can announce there's a football game Friday night, and lunch is at 11:30, and by the way we're having chili, and oh there's practice for this and that at 3, they can do that," said Wright.
Rapid City School District Superintendent Dr. Tim Mitchell says the issue of saying the pledge in schools hasn't been brought up before; so discussion on it has not taken place.
Here is a list of schools in the RCSD that do and do not do the pledge:
- Meadowbrook: Led in the classrooms on a daily basis
- Beadle: Led in the classrooms on a daily basis
- Pinedale: Led in the classrooms on a daily basis
- Black Hawk: Led through the intercom daily
- Robbinsdale: Led by students daily over the intercom
- South Park: Led by principal over the intercom daily
- Rapid Valley: Led through intercom daily
- Corral Drive: Led through intercom daily
- Canyon Lake: Led by student through intercom daily
- Wilson: Led in classroom on daily basis
- Horace Mann: Led through intercom daily
- Grandview: Led through intercom daily
- South Canyon: Led through intercom by students daily
- Knollwood: Led through intercom daily
- Valley View: Teachers have the option in their classrooms
- Southwest Middle: Led by students over the intercom daily
- South Middle: Up to individual classroom teachers
- West Middle: Led through intercom daily
- East Middle: Led through intercom only on Monday morning of each week.
- North: Does not require or do the pledge daily
- Stevens High School: Does not require or do the pledge daily
- Central High School: Does not require or do the pledge daily
- Rapid City High School: Does not require or do the pledge daily