Taft HS LSC votes 7 to 3 to keep the Pledge of Allegiance at its meetings
by BRIAN NADIG
The Taft High School Local School Council at its Sept. 14 meeting voted 7- 3, with one abstention, to continue reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at council meetings.
About two months ago some LSC members said that they did not see a need for the pledge to be on the council’s agenda, and a subsequent vote on whether to stop reciting the pledge at meetings was deadlocked at 6-6, and members agreed to revote at the start of the school year.
During the public comment section, a Taft alum told the council that William Howard Taft, the school’s namesake, is “turning in his grave” over the fact that the council is considering whether to remove the pledge from its agenda and that the school does not lead students in the pledge each morning. Taft is the only person to serve as the U.S. president and then later as the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
A veteran told the council that the pledge and National Anthem are traditions that unify Americans and that the council should continue reciting the pledge at the start of meetings.
Taft principal Mark Grishaber said that it is his understanding that the only CPS high schools which lead students in the pledge each school day are military academies.
LSC chairwoman Alix Davila said that the council does not have the authority to require the school to lead students in the pledge.
Courts have ruled that while public schools can lead students in the pledge, no student can be required to recite it. To require its recital would violate a student’s First amendment rights, according to the rulings.There are other Northwest Side councils that do not recite the pledge at meetings