A young Star Trek fan was suspended from school for reciting his own version of the Pledge of Allegiance, in which he pledged to the United Federation of Planets. His mom has posted the story:
“So, anyway. What did he do?” I picked at the hem of my sweatshirt, looked just to the right of her face. I couldn’t meet her eyes. I felt nervous. I felt under-dressed. I wondered where 8 was. So she told me what he did. And as she told me, I started to laugh. I didn’t laugh a little, either, but I belly-laughed and grabbed my stomach. My son stood with his class this morning, put small right hand over heart, faced the American flag, and recited his own personal pledge of allegiance:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Federation of Planets, and to the galaxy for which it stands, one universe, under everybody, with liberty and justice for all species.
“Mrs. Jaworski. This isn’t humorous. The Pledge is an extremely important and patriotic moment each morning in the classroom. I am ashamed of your son’s behavior, and I hope you are, too.”
Now if it were my kid, I’d be marching them to school the next day and refusing to allow the school to suspend them, because what the hell does the pledge have to do with education? You teach my kid, and let me worry about his patriotism.
When I was in first grade, we had a kid in my class who refused to say the pledge, and the school dragged his parents into talk to them. They refused to make him, and threatened to sue the school, so the kid was allowed to sit down during the pledge. Eventually, there was more of a to-do about it, and we ended up not saying the pledge at all. Woo hoo!
There are of course, alternatives. You can always say the Matt Groening pledge under your breath:
I plead alignment to the flakes
of the untitled snakes of a merry cow.
And to the Republicans, for which they scam,
one nacho, underpants,
with licorice and jugs of wine for owls.
Nacho underpants. Hee hee. Or you can say this one:
I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, and to the Republic by which it stands; one Nation, indivisible, with the promise of liberty and justice for all.