Brookline Group Wants To Take Pledge Of Allegiance Out Of Schools

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV

BROOKLINE (CBS) – You’ve said it so many times, can recite it in your sleep.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag…”

Now one group in Brookline wants to take the Pledge Of Allegiance out of public schools.

“It’s bad for education. It’s bad for diversity and tolerance, and it’s bad for patriotism,” says Martin Rosenthal, who’s the co-chair of Brookline Pax.

The group was behind a recent change in Brookline’s policy last winter, which made the pledge optional and not required.

Now he wants to take it a step further, with an all-out ban.

“What do you say to a 6-year-old? We’re going to do a Pledge Of Allegiance to the flag of the United States and you don’t have to participate? What does a 6-year-old think?”

There’s no shortage of residents who’ll debate his point.

“I think it’s a piece of our American society and we should always have a piece of that in school,” says 7th grader Alex Stameris.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports

His mother agrees. “I think we should say it every day and we should be proud of it.”

Brookline town meeting members will vote on the issue in November.

If it passes, it won’t be binding, just a suggestion for the school board to consider.

School Committee Chair Rebecca Stone says it’s unlikely the board will revise the pledge policy again.

More from Christina Hager
  • chilitokid

    Hey Martin Rosenthal, who’s the co-chair of Brookline Pax, I’ll gladly buy you a first class ticket anywhere you want to move outside the US….they don’t say the Pledge of Allegiance in a lot of 3rd world countries that they’ll chop your head off in!!
    In case you forgot

    Pledge of Allegiance

    I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

    “I pledge allegiance” (I promise to be true)

    “to the flag” (to the symbol of our country)

    “of the United States of America” (each state that has joined to make our country)

    “and to the Republic” (a republic is a country where the people choose others to make laws for them — the government is “of, by and for” the people)

    “for which it stands,” (the flag means the country)

    “one nation” (a single country)

    “under God,” (the people believe in a supreme being)

    “indivisible,” (the country cannot be split into parts)

    “with Liberty and Justice” (with freedom and fairness)

    “for all.” (for each person in the country…you and me!)

    The pledge says you are promising to be true to the United States of America!

    • Manny

      well said!

    • David S

      One of the most important liberties we want to celebrate in the pledge is the freedom to practice our own faith. For those of us who do not believe in a supreme being, the “under god” phrase is dishonest. I want a pledge I can believe in when I recite it. Remove the phrase but keep the pledge.

      • MoonBeamWatcher

        PC is what caused the Ft. Hood massacre. Fighting that PC urge I can only suggest that you get a grip and soldier on behind the majority of Americans. What kind of “Faith” doesn’t believe in a “Supreme Being?” And oh yes, enjoy your April 1st holiday.

      • Nathalie

        David S, It’s because of the men and women fighting overseas and here in the UNITED States of America for our liberties that you do have the freedom to practice your own faith whether it be christianity, judaism, voodoo or nothing at all…It isn’t saying a specific god. It’s saying we are “…one nation under god…” Our troops say these words with pride and they are not all of the same faith, but they say it together. We are a diverse country, yet we stand together against our common enemies no matter what god we believe in. If you don’t understand that, then that’s just sad.

    • emom

      GOD BLESS, AMEN, I PLEDGE…………………….. YEAH

      • James Healy

        I have a solution, tell these idiots to move to another country.

    • Harold Garey

      Well done!! I’ll contribute to ship his and his family to any Muslim country, where they belong. Go visit the military cemeteries in foreign lands to see what we, U.S. citizens, have sacrificed for the country and our freedoms. A Korean War era vet.

    • walter


    • Linda

      Now is an even more important era for children to learn and recite the Pledge. With so many immigrants in America it should be a reguirement like it always used to be. Apparently we need to clean up and out our schools of all left-wingers-soon-to-become-wanna-be’s so our children can learn love and respect again.

    • Sue Ells

      Well said! Thank you! Brooline Pax, you should be ashamed of yourselves. What’s next??.. We stop singing our National Anthem during sporting events because we may offend people attending the games or viewing them on TV. I am proud to be an American!

    • Nathalie

      Right there with you chilitokid!!! Rosenthal is out of his mind…I would like him to please explain to us how the pledge of allegiance is “It’s bad for education. It’s bad for diversity and tolerance, and it’s bad for patriotism,” He has no idea what he’s talking about.

      My children learned to say the Pledge of Allegiance in kindergarten. They came home proud that they could, and to this day still say it with pride. Ship him, his family and their supporters off to Iraq or Afghanistan where they can tell our troops who have left their families, jobs and safe lives to fight for our country that it’s not patriotic. They still say it there every day!!!

  • walter

    “UNBELIEVABLE” What is this country coming to… If you don’t want to pledge your allegiance to the AMERICAN FLAG you should go to a private school or possibly move to another country. As far as public schools they should recite it everyday. You should stand tall and proud every day when reciting this and be thankful for the flag and the country it represents. It just goes to show how politically correct this state and country are. This is getting out of control. I want my kids to take part everyday in this rite of passage and tradition that has been set in schools way before my time.

  • Dave

    This is America people..If you can’t agreee with the pledge of Allegiance…LEAVE!!!

    • walter

      Brookline thinks it is Cambridge..It’s not the peoples republic of Brookline

  • Don

    Great timing during the week of the 10 yr commemoration of 9/11. Shame on you for taking a serious issue like bullying and twisting it to fit your warped agenda.

    BTW, the principal wants to see you in his office for a U.S. history tutoring session. Or is submitting to the authority of the principal a form of bullying also?

  • Bruce

    If you don’t want to pledge yourself to America; how about America takes away your federal money….you Jerks!!!!!

  • Jackson H

    The Brookline Pax Group should move out of the country – you shameful bunch of fools!

  • mike sullivan

    Hey you jerk I guess you forgot ww2&the holocaust.
    You are a true liberal /terrorist .
    How soon you jerks forget
    9/ 11

    • Greg

      liberal/terrorist? really?

  • Nancy Ring

    I thought Madeline Murray O’Hare and her family was dead!!!

    • count4eternity

      Madalyn, her son Jon and granddaughter Robin were kidnapped, tortured and murdered by the two atheist men whom Madalyn had hired directly from prison to manage her American Atheists organization in Austin, Tx.
      Madalyn’s son, William J. Murray — in whose name she sued to remove prayer from American public schools — became a born again Christian (I can personally testify) in the early 80’s. For over a decade he was an evangelist in the U.S. and led missionary trips to Nicaragua, Russia, etc. Now he is the head of the Religious Freedom Coalition in DC.
      (Take that, Satan!)

  • Willow

    I don’t even understand where the phrase, “politically correct,” came from. Aren’t we a free nation to express our thoughts and opinions without fear of punishment? I grew up reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and to honor and respect our flag, and to be proud of the county I was privileged to be born in. I truly don’t know what’s happened to this nation, and where it will finally end up, but it doesn’t look like things will get any better. If we have to be, “politically correct,” in what we do, say, or think, I wonder just how free we truly are. Taking away the Pledge just drives our nation further and further away from what our founding fathers envisioned for this great country. I agree with the other comments. If you don’t want any loyalty to this nation, then maybe you should find a new country to live in.

  • Linda Engelmann

    Brookline is host to a lot of foreign families who are NOT Americans, but are here for a short time for a variety of reasons. Perhaps this is why the Brookline Pax group suggested that the Pledge of Allegiance be removed from morning activities. Perhaps a compromise should be considered: those who don’t want to pledge don’t have to.

    I am sorry to see the mostly jingoistic, hate-filled remarks above. Those are certainly NOT in the American spirit.

    • lennyboy

      I’d be HAPPY to compromise ! Start a fund to let htem ALL emigrate “elsewhere” ! I’d gladly contribute .

    • Willow

      Linda, they’ve already been given a choice to recite it or not. This is a total ban they are calling from. If people are in this country for a short while to study and take advantage of education and whatever other freedoms that are available to them, then they should be ready to accept the American way. Otherwise, go to school in your own country. That is not being hate-filled. I would expect to honor the customs of a foreign country if I was being educated abroad.

      • susan brooks


        I was a teacher in Brookline. Most kids who come to Bline from other countries DO PLEDGE TO THE FLAG. I recall having a student who said he was just a visitor and didn’t want to recite the pledge. I was fine with that and so were his classmates. There was no bullying or discomfort. It all passed uneventfully. This is a non-issue. The truth here is that PAX wants to deny those students who want to say it – (once a week!) the right to do that. This is a total tempest in a teapot by people (like Rosentahl) who apparently don’t have enough to think about.

    • MoonBeamWatcher

      I’ll give you “JINGOISTIC” wrap yourself in the TRUTH below!

      Marty Rosenthal is a former ACLU ‘operative’ (do a google search for ACLU! Learn that the ACLU is antithetical to it’s suggested honorable meaning and promotes bad as good and wrong as right ) he was a leader of the Socialist Rent Control scheme and elected to the Brookline board of selectmen by his “Free Lunch” crowd. He now attacks most every American tradition from Christmas, prayer in school, security cameras via the ACLU associated group PAX.

  • Roy

    Can’t band video games, but can ban the Pledge of Allegiance? Something is very wrong!

  • Willow

    I should have added that this group should work so hard to keep drugs, gangs, and teenage pregnancy out of schools. Then they would be truly doing their fellow Americans a great deed.

  • Jim

    Trying to ban the Pledge of Allegiance again, on the anniversary of 9/11? Where do these people come from? Better yet, why don’t they go back!

  • John

    Only a liberal could make sense out of ” saying the pledge is bad for education and PATRIOTISM” How do people usually show their patriotism??? By displaying a flag of course.

  • response

    I wonder if these people have a problem in taking federal/state funds to PAY for their childrens public education?

  • Legagnon

    Instead of taking the Pledge of Allegiance out of Brookline, why don’t these people take themselves out of America.–problem solved

  • Steve

    The pledge of Allegiance should be recited every morning,by all schools. If you live in this country you live by its rules. If not ,go back to where you came from. Brookline should be ashamed of itself for making it optional.
    Martin you are a jerk,no question.

  • blackbear1

    Why is this site saying that I am posting comments too quickly Slow down. This is the third time in the last 12 hours.

  • whatever

    poliical correctness is bullying

  • Paul

    Things started going downhill when our US Supreme Court voted to allow a painting of someone peeing on the American Flag…under our “freedom of speech”…instead of locking them up and throwing away the key.

  • Keller @ Large: Brookline Pax Pledge Of Allegiance Fight Grounded In Ignorance « CBS Boston

    […] But for some residents of Brookline, Massachusetts, this simple declaration of patriotism is an unacceptable presence in their children’s lives. […]

  • Jess

    Sigh…. Come on, Brookline Pax. Really? Please channel this misguided energy elsewhere, somewhere with purpose. Enough with the slacktivism.

  • emom

    I am a born and raised American, WHO recited the pledge of allegiance daily in school, WHATS THE BIG DEAL. You don’t like it then by all means go to a school in which there is no pledge allegiance, where THE AMERICAN WAY is not an influence on your child, where what AMERICAN was founded on can not alter you child, FOR WHICH IT STANDS, a NATION held together by courage & god, You don’t like THE ONE NATION UNDER GOD, its OUR NATION and OUR GOD, A god I am proud to know, hold dear to my heart , BELIVE IN, A nation in which MY FREEDOM is at stake, because people like you can not handle DIVERSITY, and want to abolish the very MEANING of what MY COUNTRY IS. WHO DARE YOU , want to rip the very FABRIC down from our poles, and toss it aside, as if it is a scourge to you . SHAME on you for trying to CHANGE the very CORE of our existence since you are unable to simply just look away and let us have what we have, We allow you to have your BRAND of BELIEFS, and we do not try to take it away from you,, But that will now change,,,,,,
    I do not want you to walk up to me and pedal your BELIEFS, Keep your OPINIONS to yourself, If you do not like what I do SHUT UP , WALK AWAY AND GO ON WITH YOUR MERRY LIFE , Do not PEDAL YOUR BELIEFS to me, I am not interested in it.
    Also if you do not Like what we do here,,, WHATS HOLDING YOU HERE, there is no fence up, no locks , no chains, we are a FREE nation , that can come and go , All we ask is such a little amount from you , and now you want to RIP THE VERY CORE of what this country stands for. If that’s the case, Why not go and create your OWN NATION, find a ISLAND some where and start it up as a non GOD BELIEF WORLD.. That will appease the gods on all levels,, WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO DIVERSITY, So many jobs enforce it yet as a nation we have to drop it to allow someone to be happy,,, I think its finally back fired,,,, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW,, SEE WHAT YOU CAUSED.. LEAVE MY GOD, NATION AND THE RED WHITE & BLUE ALONE, IT’S OUR RIGHT TO RECITE IT NO ONE IS FORCING YOU STEP OUT TILL ITS DONE, DO NOT TAKE WHAT WE HOLD DEAR TO OUR HEARTS AWAY. AND WE WILL NOT DO THAT TO YOU… AMEN. AND GOD BLESS,

    • JayMatthewsOfNC

      That is the BEST comment I’ve seen so far.

  • banjo

    Liberalism is a mental disorder. It does not get any more clear than that. The real tragedy here is that the town is taking this matter seriously. Only in MA.

    • laurier

      “Liberalism is a mental disorder”. I consider myself “liberal” on many issues, but do not agree with eliminating the Pledge of Allegiance. Liberalism is about fairness and compassion for others; it is NOT synonymous with being unpatriotic!

      • Theresa Hamilton

        Liberalism is not about fairness and compassion for others; it is synonymous with being unpatriotic! You would cut off the legs of a person in order to carry them around so that you could pat yourself on the back saying “look at me, I am a wonderful caring person” When in reality you are the one that crippled them..

  • lennyboy

    Discraceful ! Your little cherub will be well-served by quiclky learning that it’s NOT all about you . As with most of this population, my grandparents were PROUD to come, learn culture and language . While they were proud of their Italian heritage , this became HOME .No , I’m not hateful or jingoistic…..I realize , that, despite flaws, this is the best place to be , PERIOD. You’re all free to leave,correct? BTW, WWII vets must be rolling over in their graves with this one .

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