BROOKLYN, NY (WPIX) -- The Pledge of Allegiance is making a comeback at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill.
Many years have gone by at the Brooklyn elementary school without students pledging to the flag, even though state and city rules require it. It took the curiosity of Joe and Winnie Fischer’s daughter Brianna, 8, to bring it back.
“We were watching a TV show with my daughter, and apparently on the television was a class reciting the pledge, and she asked what they were doing,” said Joe Fischer, a firefighter who also has a son at P.S. 29. “I was surprised she didn’t know.”
After the family brought the issue to the school’s attention, Principal Melanie Woods agreed to have the pledge broadcast over the public address system. But not all of the parents want the patriotic oath reinstated. “When I was a kid I refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance cause I was upset about the lack of separation between church and state,” said Robert Cowan, whose daughter is a student at P.S. 29. “My wife was looking at the history of it. The 1892 version is actually less objectionable than the present version, and we were talking about advocating for that. The wording is a little less nationalistic.”
The phrase “one nation under God” has fueled controversy and legal challenges through the years over the pledge’s use in public schools.
Third grader Bruno Sellers weighed in on the debate. “I think it’s really an important thing to say cause it’s kind of like a prayer to God, and I believe in God,” he said.
The Department of Education said it expects schools to recite the pledge, and if they learn of one that doesn’t, they will address it. But by law, students can’t be forced to recite it or stand during it.
“I feel it’s an important part of our history, part of tradition in this country,” said Joe Fischer. “I did it as a kid in my school. I just wanted my kids to know what it means as well as how to do it.”
Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance will officially become part of P.S. 29’s daily routine on Monday.