Some students at El Camino Real Academy in Santa Fe, New Mexico, recently decided to rewrite the Pledge of Allegiance so it has a pro-immigrant part.
About 20 seventh-grade students refused to stand for the pledge in February because they did not believe it applied to them.
History teacher Galen Blum told the Santa Fe New Mexican that one of the students told her: "It’s a good pledge. But we’re not living it in America."
Students in other seventh-grade classrooms also opted out of the pledge in the dual-language school of 880 students, most of whom speak Spanish and English.
It's legal for students to choose not to participate in the pledge based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from 1943, but some of the El Camino Real Academy students took their beliefs a step further and wrote a new version of the pledge to include immigrants.
"I pledge for all those immigrants that came here for a dream and for all those kids that want to have a better future and career," states the new pledge. "All immigrants are America."
The students believe that all Americans are immigrants, except for Native Americans.
Blum was supportive of her students and turned their activism into a school project: "It was that moment of engagement that every teacher wants."
She went through the pledge with the students to explain it, but they did not believe the "liberty and justice for all" part applied to immigrants who face deportation for violating border laws.
While Blum supports her students, she still says the original pledge each day while they sit:
I think it’s a beautiful pledge. I always felt a deep love and passion for my own country, no matter who is president. It’s like a vow you take in marriage ... It stands before you as an agreement to the values that you are both going to work for, each and every day to the best of your ability. That’s why I say it. Because if I say it out loud, maybe it will come true.
Several people opposed the students' new pledge on the Santa Fe New Mexican's Facebook page:
I think that if you are in USA, you need to follow the rules and learn to love and admire our country, I am a legal immigrant that was brought over when i was 2, my parents would have never allowed this kind of behavior.
Liberal indoctrination in school. Not surprised about this in Santa Fe. These children are immature and lacking in understanding. You can't make up your own version of The Pledge of Alligence. Better yet, just don't say anything!
hmmm.. can the students take a shortcut to their achievement of degree.. just so they can have a better life? No! They have to follow the rules and put time and effort in to receive that degree.. same a legal immigration... wtf Santa Fe.
You can't go to another country and write your own pledge of allegiance. It's like allowing a visitor to go to your home and let them disrespect you by not following your house rules. If you're a legal immigrant and you chose to be a us citizen, part of the oath taking ceremony is to recite the pledge of allegiance! That or leave the country!