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The Foothill Dragon Press

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“Patriotic Observance” implementation sparks discussion on campus

Credit: Gabrialla Cockerell/ The Foothill Dragon Press

Last Tuesday, students visibly displayed a wide array of emotions when Campus Supervisor Dana Eaton announced that Foothill would now take time every day for a “patriotic observance” session during the daily announcements.

The day the observance was implemented, the school was asked to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Most students did as they were asked, while other students chose to sit or stand without reciting.

Principal Joe Bova clarified that the school will “probably do the Pledge three days a week” and the other two days, the staff will be “pulling curriculum from ‘This Day in History.’


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As for the reasoning behind the new implementation, Bova said the “education code is pretty clear about it — you should be doing [a patriotic observance] each day.” He also revealed that the staff “had discussions recently about it, and so we’re going to reimplement it again.”

History and government teacher Cherie Eulau isn’t surprised by the recent enforcement of the Education Code’s policy because parents and community members “get upset that schools aren’t doing it” because “someone could potentially sue [Foothill] and the district if we’re not doing it.”

Eulau also explained that the government teacher in her likes the “mild controversy” that comes with the current implementation because “it does this kind of thing where people ask, ‘Why are we doing it? Is it worthwhile?’ […] I like when we discuss why we do things; that’s what we teach you to do, is question authority.”

As time goes on, Eulau is curious to see whether more students choose to sit or stand.

“If they’re not standing, [is it] because they feel like they really don’t want to be pledging allegiance to our flag or they just don’t want to stand up?” she pondered.

Junior Vineta Sondors believes that recent events in the media involving Colin Kaepernick “sparked everybody’s agitation,” so now “Foothill’s authorities are trying to introduce it to us so that we don’t lose our patriotism.”

As for her personal opinions on the Pledge of Allegiance, she’s on the fence between both sides: “Seeing as my parents both emigrated from third world countries into America, […] it is a great country, there’s lots of opportunities, [and] it is important to show patriotism to your country.”


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“But, at the same time,” Sondors continued, “our country’s really flawed right now. Whether you stand or sit for the Pledge of Allegiance, I think depends on your personal opinions and views.”

Feeling similarly, junior Joshua Hager has recently chose to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance because he believes the American military “stands for oppression worldwide.”

“Because of the systematic violence, the systematic oppression […] that America enforces through its military and police, […] I can’t bring myself to stand during the Pledge,” Hager said.

Hager feels that the “Iraqi invasion of 2003, the continuing killing of civilians in Syria and Iraq, [and] the secret bases all over the world,” present the American military as a “very aggressive, very deadly force,” which is why he chooses not to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Senior William White believes the “enforcement on the Pledge of Allegiance is kind of absurd.”

If people look uncomfortable when White chooses to sit for the Pledge of Allegiance, he will “stand up for the comfort of others, but [he] will likely sit down when that doesn’t happen [because he] doesn’t deem it as something necessary.”

White said, “I’m very neutral on the [implementation], but I don’t agree with the enforcement of having to do so either. […] I think that’s something that should be changed in the Educational Code, because, bottom line is, patriotism is earned, it’s not enforced.”

What do you think?
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Jocelyn Brossia, Editor-in-Chief

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Comments on articles are screened and those determined by editors to be crude, overly mean-spirited or that serve primarily as personal attacks will not be approved. The Editorial Review Board, made up of 11 student editors and a faculty adviser, make decisions on content.
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  • M

    Michael SanchezOct 6, 2016 at 9:35 am

    I don’t understand why some people would not honor and pledge alliance to the nation’s flag. The flag represents unity, peace, and independence for all. I mean yeah the country is flawed right now. But just because the country is flawed now doesn’t mean you have the reason to not honor the flag during observance. The thing is about the United States was that the United States was already a flawed government throughout it’s own HISTORY. How the American government treated the civil rights movement, segregation, slavery, the civil war, the internment of Japanese, and even the idea of America policing the world existed throughout history. Remember the Monroe Doctrine, the Big Stick Diplomacy, and the Truman Doctrine; those were all examples of America being a imperialistic police force. Things have improved now than they were in the 20th Century and earlier beyond, blacks and Latinos are more accepted into society nowadays because of federal laws being implemented now that discourage racism and even the fact that the white majority in California will become the white minority by 2030. If you guys just look back at history, you’ll realized how much the United States had improved over the years. So why dishonor the flag if the American government is doing whatever they can to solve those issues. Why blame America as a whole for the problems that existed in this country? Why blamed the federal government? The American flag represents America as a whole, not just California, not just Mississippi, not just Ohio, but as one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Do not blame the country as a whole, blame the state, the senator, the governor, or even the president for causing the issue. Most American problems in history and now are caused not by the federal government, but the individuals within the federal government and the state governments. Every state has different ideals of running their own societies, the federal government’s job is to ensure that every state satisfy the U.S. Constitution that they are abide under. The American government is not perfect, yes it’s not, but it’s not like it’s something rather extraordinary.

  • C

    Conni CarrOct 6, 2016 at 7:04 am

    The United States has NEVER been perfect and I think most would be willing to agree that there are BIG issues and challenges in every generation. However, our “broken” system allows you to get an education whether you are male or female, provides free or low cost meals in schools for families willing to fill out a simple form, lets you express your thoughts and words in the public arena, gives you rights that in other parts of the word people may not even have the time or energy to wish for, provides protections against the abuse of children, has men and women willing to place themselves in mortal danger to protect your rights and the rights of others to strive for the same opportunities you have, and the list goes on. Your right to debate these issues, I think, is what the patriotic observance comes down to. Yep, education code is in place and, like it or not, administration needs to step up and enforce it to the best of their ability. This is one of those cases where your right to choose to “sit it out” could actually be construed as a “patriotic observance” in itself.

  • S

    SiennaOct 5, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Foothill is all about policy, isn’t it? This is an interesting article, I liked the majority of what Josh had to say. Seems sort of like another brainwashing technique implemented by the superior white hierarchy that mandates the “liberal” school system of Foothill. Is it a coincidence that this is implemented after a year of discrimination? After a year of publicized terror caused by the militant police force in this country? Yes, the terror and murders have been going on since the implementation of slavery in this country, but now this generation is speaking out through the social media medium and various other platforms, criticizing the system on every level. Which is something. But I digress. It just seems a little too obvious to me that this is implemented again this year. Basically rooting for “unity, togetherness, patriotism, and appreciation for the diversity of this country” when our generation really should be supporting the critique of the system so it can be dismantled and then built again in a way that represents all people and is no longer thriving off of the dehumanization of minorities and no longer built on the backs of people who unfortunately do not have the privilege that some (but not all) students of Foothill have.