Group wants pledge out of schools

Sept. 9, 2011 at 3:00 AM
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BROOKLINE, Mass., Sept. 9 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts group is drawing criticism for its quest to take the Pledge of Allegiance out of schools, saying it is "reminiscent of McCarthyism."

Brookline Political Action for Peace said it wants voters at November's Town Meeting to urge the School Committee to stop requiring principals to have the pledge recited weekly during morning announcements, the Boston Herald reported Thursday.

The group said the pledge does not have any educational value and it is "literally and psychologically a loyalty oath, reminiscent of McCarthyism or some horrific totalitarian regimes."

"I've spent 40 years in civic involvement. I yield to nobody in patriotism," said attorney Marty Rosenthal, co-chairman of the group. "The pledge is at odds with America's most important traditions."

Some are criticizing the group's efforts.

Christie Coombs of Abington, whose husband, Jeff, was on American Airlines Flight 11 when it crashed into the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001, said the group's plan "makes me sick to my stomach."

"America has been through a lot with the bad economy and soldiers dying in Afghanistan on a weekly basis, but we've pulled back together. A majority of Americans are proud to pay tribute to the flag," she said. "I hope the town of Brookline looks at this and says it's nonsense and can't be done."

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