The Fargo school district voted 7-2 to drop saying the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings because it does not align with the district’s values. Some of the school board members didn’t feel the pledge was “inclusive” enough, pointing to the phrase “under God.”
Board member Seth Holden felt that the word “God” referenced the Judeo-Christian God and was not inclusive to students and staff who practice Buddhism, Islam, or Hinduism. Holden also felt it excluded atheists. He noted that he is not against the pledge, but it is not appropriate to say it in a school that promoted diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Ex-board member David Paulson advocated for the pledge to be said before meetings when he served on the board. He said, “The Pledge isn’t a show of our patriotism, it’s an affirmation of our commitment and our loyalty to the greater cause, and that greater cause is freedom.”
The board president suggested saying, “Shared statement of purpose that would bring us all together” at the start of the meetings, in lieu of the pledge.”