Students and staff in Claremore's Sequoyah Public Schools find common ground Pledge of Allegiance

CLAREMORE, Okla. - Students and staff in the Sequoyah Public Schools in Claremore have found common ground on reintroducing the Pledge of Allegiance in the district's high school.

Currently, the elementary, middle and mid-high schools recite the Pledge of Allegiance on a daily basis, according to district superintendent Terry Saul.

At the district's high school, however, he says the tradition got lost in the shuffle when the new high school was built about 10 years ago.

"When we moved into that school, the tradition of flag salute, you know, just fell by the wayside as far as just the procedure. Wasn't any intent to it," Saul said. "We made the move. New principal, staff changed to some degree and the history that I've been told is that we just, we just quit doing it."

Junior Matthew Deaver and other students hoped to change that when they recently approached high school and district administration.

Deaver, who hopes to one day serve in the Air Force and whose family has served in the Air Force, says the Pledge of Allegiance spreads American pride beyond the country's borders.

"To me, it's not representing the country by itself," the junior said. "It's representing everyone in the country and people who have served the country out of its boundaries. And it just means a lot to me and a bunch of students have people that way, too."

Saul, who calls discussions with students an opportunity to raise awareness, says his high school staff is taking inventory of which classrooms have American flags and which ones are in need. Over the next few weeks, new flags will be ordered for classrooms needing the Stars and Stripes.

"Last couple of days have been a really neat experience for probably young people and adults both as far as opportunity and awareness," the superintendent said.

Once the flags are in place, Saul says the school will go over the new Pledge of Allegiance procedures. It's something he says should be in place relatively quickly, perhaps within a couple of weeks.

Due to the fluid nature of high school students' schedules, including career-tech and concurrent studies that take them off campus, Saul says it's likely the Pledge of Allegiance will be recited on Mondays.

Both Deaver and Saul call the cooperative decision a win-win for the district.

Deaver also says he hopes this kind of change can inspire students at other schools who wish to reintegrate the Pledge of Allegiance into the classroom.

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