A North Dakota school board has put an end to reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before each meeting because members complained that the patriotic verse is problematic since it has the words “under God.”
On Tuesday, the Fargo School Board voted 7-2 to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before every meeting.
North Dakota newspaper Inforum reported that a school board member nixed the Pledge of Allegiance because it didn’t align with the district’s diversity, equity, and inclusion values. Some of the school board members contended that the words “under God” were excluding many people.
Fargo School Board member Seth Holden said, “Given that the word ‘God’ in the text of the Pledge of Allegiance is capitalized. The text is clearly referring to the Judeo-Christian god and therefore, it does not include any other face such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, all of which are practiced by our staff and students at FPS.”
Holden claimed that saying the Pledge of Allegiance is a “non-inclusionary act.”
Holden added, “The statement that we are ‘one nation under God,’ is the Judeo-Christian God… is simply an untrue statement. We are one nation under many or no gods.”
He also stated that it is an “indisputable fact” that “not all U.S. citizens have liberty and justice… therefore making the line ‘one nation with liberty and justice for all’ an untrue statement.”
School Board President Dr. Tracie Newman said, “I’m just not sure that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is a useful way to begin every one of our board meetings. I would much prefer that we open our meetings with a shared statement of purpose that would bring us all together to do the work of the board.”
Two other board members suggested that each meeting start with reading one of the school district’s values.