Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

Kid Suspended for Pledging Allegiance...

Old 08-12-05, 10:24 PM
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Kid Suspended for Pledging Allegiance...

... to the flag of the United Federation of Planets.

Hey, Klingons have feelings, too!

I got a call from the elementary school administrative assistant this morning.

"Mrs. Jaworski?" I could hear her tapping a pencil against the desk.

"Uh yes, and it's Ms., please."

"Your son, 8, has been suspended for the day. Come here and pick him up."

She didn't give me time to answer, to ask questions, her voice disappeared as if someone cut the line. I stood in the kitchen, my bare feet aching from yesterday's marathon, and I took a deep breath. My son can be a nut at times, but he's never done the kinds of things that troubled kids do. He doesn't talk back, he doesn't pick fights, and he's never destroyed property. I couldn't picture him doing anything scholastically evil. Maybe he stripped and ran around the school naked, I thought. I grabbed my keys and headed out the door.

The principal met me in her office. She closed the door tightly behind me and invited me to sit in a stuffed orange vinyl chair.

"Mrs. Jaworski, 8 has been suspended from school for one day." She wore an arctic blue power jacket over black slacks, and I self-consciously tried to pull my hooded sweatshirt further over my pink pajamas.

"It's Ms., please. And sorry for my attire, but I ran a marathon yesterday and I'm too sore to change this morning." I tried to infect her with my smile, but she wore a tight-lipped expression as frosty as her jacket. "So, anyway. What did he do?" I picked at the hem of my sweatshirt, looked just to the right of her face. I couldn't meet her eyes. I felt nervous. I felt underdressed. I wondered where 8 was.

So she told me what he did. And as she told me, I started to laugh. I didn't laugh a little, either, but I belly-laughed and grabbed my stomach. My son stood with his class this morning, put small right hand over heart, faced the American flag, and recited his own personal pledge of allegiance:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Federation of Planets, and to the galaxy for which it stands, one universe, under everybody, with liberty and justice for all species.

"Mrs. Jaworski. This isn't humorous. The Pledge is an extremely important and patriotic moment each morning in the classroom. I am ashamed of your son's behavior, and I hope you are, too."

I wanted to say, Hey Lady, it's a big universe. Why should we pledge allegiance to a mixed-up country? Why shouldn't my son embrace the potential of stardust? But I stood, extended my hand, apologized for my laughter, slung my purse over my shoulder, opened her door to find my son, 8, red-eyed sitting on the wooden bench bordering the World Map wall.

I'm sitting here, working on computer things, and Mr. 8 sits in the living room. He has to write the "real" pledge of allegiance fifty times before he can return to school. But first he's watching Star Trek. Damn straight.
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Old 08-12-05, 10:28 PM
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His name is 8?
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Old 08-12-05, 10:29 PM
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I have no problem with this.
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Old 08-12-05, 10:29 PM
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sounds like it was written by a woman. so typical... pssh
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Old 08-12-05, 10:30 PM
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Old 08-12-05, 10:30 PM
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"I pledge allegiance to my bitchy teacher, she is such a stupid whore, in this nation , under this roof she is still a dumbass bitch. For I'm going home for the day and mom's pissed at this slut"
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Old 08-12-05, 10:31 PM
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8??
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Old 08-12-05, 10:33 PM
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She calls the kid "8" in her blog instead of using his real name on the Internet.
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Old 08-12-05, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by KitchenSink
His name is 8?
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Old 08-12-05, 10:37 PM
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This kid needs to be a member on this board...
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Old 08-12-05, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Trigger
sounds like it was written by a woman. so typical... pssh
"Mr. Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That's the only planet in the galaxy that can make that claim." -- Kirk
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Old 08-12-05, 10:39 PM
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I've always thought that the pledge was totally pointless though I did think that guy who wanted the "Under God" part gone was really just nitpicking. Anyway...

WORSHIP THE FLAG, CHILDREN!
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Old 08-12-05, 10:39 PM
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8 of 9.
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Old 08-12-05, 10:43 PM
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Here's another blog entry from the same lady. As geeky as this is, it brought a lump to my throat:

A Love Letter to Star Trek

This is too soon to write this. I should wait a few months, maybe a year, take time and coffee and dreams and let it finish whirling around my neural net. But Star Trek is all about the temporal anomalies so here I sit.

One year and a couple months ago, on Star Date something-or-other, my sons and I started a family tradition by accident. We rented the first disk of what seemed like an endless set of Star Trek: The Next Generation DVDs. When Star Trek played in real life I was busy trying to make a dead-end marriage work and my two young sons didn't exist. I didn't watch television then, but if I had, I wouldn't have watched a sci-fi soap opera about humans and aliens chasing time.

I don't remember those early shows now. All I remember is watching three boys huddled under a navy blue crocheted afghan, mouths open, eyes krazy-glued to the small screen in our sunroom while reflected images of people with ridged skulls and pointed ears flickered on three glass corner windows. They were hooked.

I made microwave popcorn and poured it into an orange bucket and added extra melted butter, this was our ritual once I put the parrot to bed, and the dog and cat would sleep on the couch between us, while my oldest son manned the remote control. I never suspected it would become part of our life like brushing teeth and doing homework. That first disk rental was a lark. But the first became the second, then the third, and a month later we were well into the first season and I began to hear my two youngest sons discuss the finer points of antimatter during waking hours and every chipped saucer in the cupboard became an inpromptu model of the Enterprise star ship.

I can't explain the hold it had on my sons, and then on me. I don't remember the episodes the way they do. I'm sitting here crying while I type this, searching for a way to tell you how it transformed them into something a little bit better, how they started recognizing the world news for the first time and asking me when would our people stop fighting, start working together as one planet - simple ideas, good ideas, too simple for people who crave power. One day, a bad bad day, when many soldiers lost lives in that distant senseless war, my middle son stood with barefeet on the cold tile floor of the kitchen, listening to NPR, and clenched his fists in frustration.

"Why don't they stop fighting? We're never going to join a Federation of Planets if this continues. Don't they know that? Why don't they want to help end starvation instead? I wish we lived in the future."

I wished we lived in that future, too, where replicators created gourmet meals and women wore flowing tunics and held important positions, and no wars raged on planet Earth because starvation was a memory from some other sick place and time. I loved that my sons saw this, wanted a future of space travel and social justice.

I bought my sons Star Trek uniform shirts and my youngest wore his every day. I had to wash it each night and have it on his bed every morning so that he became a Star Fleet cadet in his secret mind as he sat at a small wooden desk and counted on fingers in school. He begged me to tell Santa to bring him an Enterprise and a Wesley Crusher action figure for Christmas, and in the weeks leading up to the holiday I crossed my fingers and bid on star ships and space men at eBay.

The week before Christmas brought flu to my house. Everyone but me became feverish and listless. I was terrified. The news was filled with reports of children dying of flu, and I kept vigil with cold compresses and Tylenol and warm broth. We didn't watch Star Trek this week, my sons could not leave bed, and I made noise with jingle bells in the living room and stomped my feet and ran into my sons' room, two Star Trek action figures in hand, whooping and laughing that Santa stopped by a few days early to drop off a pre-Christmas present because they were so so good this year. My youngest barely smiled, he was so ill, but he grabbed his Wesley Crusher and placed him on his chest. Two days later, on Christmas Eve, the ten-year-old girl next door died unexpectedly of flu. She played at my house every day for three years. She loved my boys and my dog and my middle son hid with her in the loft above the garage, pretending to be the President. We grieved terribly over the holiday, and my youngest carried his new Enterprise from room to room, still feverish, so lost and afraid. They can cure people instantly in Star Trek, with little metal boxes swirled above a sick body, but in this day and time only luck and grace and sparse science make decisions. I tried to explain this to my boys but they didn't understand.

Something about the mythology, the space, the ongoing conundrums of time, kept my sons going, kept them full of hope. They started reading books about the solar system. They followed the NASA mission to Mars and knew more about it than their teachers. They built star ships of blankets and chairs in the sunroom and spent lazy Saturday afternoons playing with styrofoam planets. All peaceful, all scientific and humane. Children from the future.

The last season of Star Trek came too fast. We watched the last episode last night. My boys have grown tall and already those Star Trek shirts are getting tight. They look forward to renting Deep Space Nine episodes. I look forward to it, too, but my heart knows this time is over, no anomalies can bring it back.
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Old 08-12-05, 10:48 PM
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Of all the letters I have read in my travels, this is the most... human.
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Old 08-12-05, 10:58 PM
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Old 08-12-05, 11:03 PM
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"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the Confederate States of America. And to the slavery for which it stands, 1000 blacks, picking cotton, indivi.... undevid... aw fuck it, never breaking up, with pickup trucks and bass boats for all."
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Old 08-12-05, 11:06 PM
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why is she so offended at being called mrs. instead of ms.?
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Old 08-12-05, 11:07 PM
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Maybe it has something to do with the "dead-end marriage" she had been in.
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Old 08-12-05, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
These boys will never know the joys of sex with women.
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Old 08-12-05, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kenbuzz
These boys will never know the joys of sex with women.
And yet kvrdave has been happily married for years...
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Old 08-12-05, 11:12 PM
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The teacher is a dumbass. And that's a compliment. So much for using your own teaching skills to alleviate the situation. Damn, she must be costing that school a lot of needless work. I'd love to get more info on this woman, and see what other things she's done.
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Old 08-12-05, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
And yet kvrdave has been happily married for years...
But his son had to marry a chicken.
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Old 08-13-05, 12:02 AM
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Huh. I wondered if this thread would be about someone refusing to say it for religious reasons (I always just stand respectfully with my hand on my heart, but don't say anything since I don't believe in pledging allegiance to a flag or even a country, and I don't believe in group recitations). I think what her son said was funny in a dorky way, but I think the mom should tell him to either totally abstain if it's against his conscience, or participate.
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Old 08-13-05, 12:21 AM
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the principal could have just taught the boy his lesson by turning a bline eye and letting all the larger kids beat the shit out of him for being a star trek fan.
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