School Board Votes To Not Recite Pledge Of Allegiance Due To Capitalization Of the Word ‘God’ And Diversity Concerns


Sarah Weaver Social Issues Reporter
Font Size:

The Fargo Public School Board in North Dakota voted on Tuesday to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at school board meetings, citing diversity concerns and the Pledge’s use of the phrase “one nation under God.”

The action overturns an earlier decision by the school board to begin reciting the Pledge at meetings. The motion to include the Pledge was approved in March on a 6-2 vote, with Vice President and current board member Seth Holden as well as current board member Jim Johnson voting against the measure.

“I move that the Fargo board of education rescind the action it took on March 22nd, 2022 in which it voted to begin each regular meeting with a Pledge of Allegiance immediately following the call to order,” Holden said in the Aug. 9 meeting of the Fargo School Board. (RELATED: Mom Reads Aloud Purported Assignment Given To Daughter. School Board Cuts Her Mic Because It’s Too Obscene)

Holden clarified that the motion was not related to removing the Pledge of Allegiance from schools and classrooms, but only meetings of the school board. Holden said he was concerned the use of the phrase “one nation under God” in the Pledge violated the school’s stated commitment to diversity, as well as making a statement he believed to be untrue, since many religions are represented in America.

“Given that the word ‘God’ in the text of the Pledge of Allegiance is capitalized,” Holden said, “the text is clearly referring to the Judeo-Christian God, and therefore it does not include any other faiths, such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, all of which are practiced throughout the country and among our staff and students at FPS.”

Holden added that atheists and agnostics would also be excluded from the phrase.

“I think the exclusion of these faiths or lack thereof within the Pledge automatically make the Pledge of Allegiance a non-inclusionary act in itself. For the board to begin each meeting by engaging in a non-inclusionary act, runs counter to our philosophy at FPS.”

Holden then read an excerpt from the school’s diversity, inclusion, and equity statement posted on the FPS website. “Education is better where schools are composed of students, teachers, and families drawn from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, cultures, “races”/ethnicities, religions, and sexual orientations. Yet a diverse school community alone is not enough. Inclusion matters,” the board’s website reads.

“The board can’t simultaneously fully support this statement, our district’s philosophy, or the work of our department of DEI to its fullest and begin each of its meetings with a non-inclusionary act,” Holden added.

Holden also stated that the phrase “liberty and justice for all” was untrue, since, he argued, not every American has liberty or justice. “It is also an indisputable fact and it’s a fact that I hope we all can agree on that not all U.S. citizens have liberty and justice, which is stated in the Pledge, therefore making the line ‘one nation with liberty and justice for all’ an untrue statement,” Holden said. (RELATED: Woman Blasts Virginia School Board For Sneaking CRT Into Teacher Training)

School board member Robin Nelson, who voted against the proposal, called it a “distraction.”

“Please give me the opportunity to stand up at the beginning of the meetings and say the Pledge of Allegiance and I would respectfully ask that you just don’t participate but don’t deny me that right,” Nelson said.

Holden declined the Daily Caller’s request for comment.