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College bans Pledge of Allegiance: It ‘violated beliefs in academic freedom’

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Another victory for the overly sensitive and easily offended… reported that the advisory council for Hillsborough Community College, in Fla., voted at its September meeting to drop the Pledge of Allegiance from meetings.

What started out as a proposal to save time turned into a discussion about “the Pledge of Allegiance and its appropriateness in an institution of higher learning which fosters academic freedom and structured dissent against authority.”

The accuracy of the minutes was being disputed by chair Sunshine Gibbons, according to an e-mail to WFLAC. The minutes did, however, reflect that “the Pledge made some people uncomfortable and that it violated their beliefs in academic freedom and the goals of the IAC.”

Even if the decision did come down to a time-saver, sophomore Scott Vosler, still doesn’t support the decision. He spoke to Fox and Friends about the council’s decision and mentioned “to be honest, the 12, 15 seconds it takes to say the pledge of allegiance is an insignificant amount of time.”

Ashley Carl, who is the H.C.C. Director of Marketing and Public Relations, reiterated that they don’t support that decision, and that the minutes aren’t final. The college president will be going to the next meeting to discuss the issue.

Gibbons also wrote a response which says that “the Pledge was removed through a democratic process, and the terms ‘academic freedom’ and ‘structured dissent against authority’ were never discussed in the September meeting.”

As WFLAC also reported, many other students do not feel the decision speaks for them. A theme of their responses was that people don’t have to say the pledge if they don’t want to.

One student who feels strongly is Navy veteran Brad Richlin. He is “concerned that we’ve trivialized the Pledge of Allegiance.” He also spoke from his perspective as a veteran:

It troubles me especially as a vet, because there are men and women on a daily basis that are dying to give these campuses and all of us americans, you know academic freedom  religious freedom, and they are dying for that flag and what it represents.

About the decision he said he didn’t “understand what the thinking is there.” He did also add that “maybe perhaps they’re not thinking.”

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