East Texans React to "Unconstitutional Pledge" Decision - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/26/02 - Tyler

East Texans React to "Unconstitutional Pledge" Decision

   The Pledge was heard in classrooms from coast to coast back in October of 2001, just a month after the 9/11 terror attacks.

   "Our entire school says the pledge every morning and I think that's a very nice thing we can do," says Sylvia Reel, a teacher. "I think it is part of our freedom to have the choice."

   Now not even the President who led teachers and students in this show of patriotism can break the pledge silence among students in nine western states.

   "I am proud to represent my country and say the pledge of allegiance," says Jamie Snider.

    As young Americans, some East Texas students can't understand why a court who's charged with upholding U.S. laws would strip any public school from the right to pledge their allegiance to "one nation under god."

   "If the majority believe in God, and you don't then that's your opinion," says Anayo Onyi, a student. "And you're free to that, but to take it out and say we can't say the Pledge of Allegiance to the true patriot that stuff's important."

   The leader of one of East Texas' largest congregations was not at all surprised at the court ruling. "Especially coming from San Francisco," says David Dykes, Pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church. "It's the most liberal part of our nation but I agree with what President Bush says... It's totally ridiculous."

   Especially to mothers and fathers, who raised their kids to say and respect the pledge.  The same ones who've lost respect for a judicial system where the pledge is proclaimed unconstitutional.

   "It is utterly ridiculous for one person to be able to come up and destroy the foundation for this country," says Jeanine Lawhon.  "And the court have the nerve to listen to him and rule in his favor."

   "The thing that bothers me is these judges are spending money that on the back says in god we trust," says Wanda Henderson. "Are they going to take that money out of their pockets? That's the question I want answered."

   East Texans we talked to say they're eager to hear what the Supreme Court will say on all this.      
   Many hope the 9th Court's decision will be swiftly over-ruled.

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