Westport Students Take Stand On Lawsuit Over Pledge Of Allegiance

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Students from Westport High School say that the lawsuit against the "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is probably not the most important issue they could focus on.
Students from Westport High School say that the lawsuit against the "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is probably not the most important issue they could focus on. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

WESTPORT, Conn. – When asked about a family who is suing their school district about the “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, Westport students understood but said there were other issues that might be more important.

“I would support it taking it out, but it’s not the most important topic out there,” said 18-year-old Baxter Stein of Westport. “I think it’s admirable if they feel passionate about it.”

That sentiment was shared by many of his peers, including Christopher McKinney, 18. “There are greater issues for us to focus on,” he said. 

The “under God” portion of the pledge wasn’t even a part of the original wording of the Pledge of Allegiance, said 16-year-old Olivia Jones of Westport. It was added in the 1950s, she said.

“It’s two words. Taking it out is not going to make a huge difference in our day,” Jones said. “You don’t have to say it in the first place.”

In school, Michael Mathis, 16, said he doesn’t see many people even say the “under God” portion of the pledge during the morning announcements at Staples High School.

“You shouldn’t be able to pick and choose what you pledge,” Mathis said. “Some won’t even stand up for it.” 

A family in the New Jersey Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District and its superintendent to remove the “under God” portion of the Pledge of Allegiance because it discriminates against atheists, which violates New Jersey’s constitution.

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