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. 

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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”. 

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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:

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