Arlington High School senior Sean Harrington outside Arlington High School Wednesday. (WBZ-AM)

On the first day of school, Arlington High School senior Sean Harrington lead a couple dozen people in saying the pledge of allegiance outside the school. Inside, students also recited the pledge, but for the first time in decades, it’s voluntary. 

It’s something Harrington worked to get over the past couple years. 

In June, he presented school officials with a petition signed by 700 people, along with letters of support from lawmakers including Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.  

Harrington gave an impassioned speech saying “freedom is not free”. 

The Arlington School Committee rejected his request saying some educators thought that it would be hard to find teachers willing to recite the pledge. 

However,  weeks later at another meeting, the board supported a subcommittee’s vote that put the pledge back in place. 

The new policy allows the principal at each school in the district to decide how the pledge is led and no one would be required to say the pledge.

WBZ’s Carl Stevens was in Arlington Wednesday morning:

Comments (2)
  1. Debra Bearce says:

    I think it is a disgrace that it is voluntary. This is the united States isn’t it? Has it changed while I slept? This is scary. I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. To which it stands, one nation UNDER GOD, indivisible with LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!! This is why I live here.

  2. lexi zotov says:

    as a current student at AHS, i refuse to say the pledge of allegiance.
    why should i be forced to say something that i do not personally believe in?

    i’m happy that we are no longer required to say it. i have gotten too many detentions and reprimands for refusing to stand and pledge my allegiance to a country where we spend billions of dollars on war to help install “peace”, or in which people cannot marry one another because of their lovers genders.

    the united states does not uphold everything that the pledge promises to give our citizens.

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