Pledge controversy deemed misunderstanding

MIDLAND -- In this day in age, where sitting or standing during the national anthem is a hot topic, a recent event now has Midland High School students debating whether or not they have to stand during the pledge of allegiance.

"It's basically a law,” Seth Ortega said. “We need to stand to respect our country, and those who died.”

Juniors and seniors were given a presentation on the Pledge of Allegiance, with a slide saying it's the law to stand during the pledge and stay silent during the moment of silence.

A 1943 Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia protects students from having to say the pledge.

MISD representatives said it was a misunderstanding in context, but that's not how students saw it.

“They shouldn’t enforce it like that, because now people think it’s the law,” said Damien Jurado.

"I feel like everybody should stand,” commented Edgar Ruiz.
Midland ISD's Woodrow bailey added that if students wish not to participate, their parents can fill out a form to remove them during the pledge.

For one man, whose niece attends Midland High School, he's questioning the legitimacy of making the students stand, in the context of a neighboring high school named after the confederate general Robert E. Lee.

"You are willing to display that flag, but his name on the side of the building, and then you turn around out of the other side of your mouth and say, 'how can you not love this country? How can you not pledge allegiance to this country, yet you're honoring a person who didn't pledge allegiance to this country," Thomas Davis said.

Now that Midland ISD has explained its actual stance on the pledge, it remains to be seen if this polarizing image will soon be old news.

Midland ISD released the following statement:

"Midland ISD received an inquiry from CBS 7 regarding a slide included in a PowerPoint presentation to Midland High School students this week. The information included in the slide if viewed out of context is confusing. However the slide was used as part of a presentation to students detailing the activities during the school day. Texas Law from the Texas Education Code - EDUC § 25.082. School Day;  Pledges of Allegiance;  Minute of Silence, requires the inclusion of the pledges and moment of silence during the school day. However it is not a mandate for every student. MISD policy includes provisions for parents to request their child be excluded from participating. Once again, nothing has changed. The PowerPoint slide was part of a presentation and described to the audience. Campus administrators have reviewed the slide and rearranged the text to ensure that no one else is confused by the contents of the slide."