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Mequon-Thiensville School Board votes unanimously for Pledge of Allegiance

Oct. 24, 2012

Mequon - The Mequon-Thiensville School Board voted Monday to add a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to future meetings, but not without some hesitation and mixed feedback from community members.

Adding the pledge to board meetings would honor a number of American traditions, said board member Cheryle Rebholz, who had proposed the addition and earlier requested successfully that a flag be added to the board room.

"I want to do this because I want to recognize our allegiance to our nation, and our democratic principles, which are in part based on an educated citizenry," Rebholz said, "and it also shows support to our military."

Though the rest of the board supported the measure, several members noted that adding the pledge would, to a certain extent, expose the district to legal issues, citing examples of public entities which have found themselves in court for reciting the pledge.

"There have been challenges in public schools throughout the state of Wisconsin in the last 20 years or so," board President Suzette Urbashich said, "and periodically they come out one way or another. Cases have been won and lost on both sides of the equation."

District resident Peg Gardner echoed that reservation, cautioning the board to avoid the legal complication altogether.

"We have enough controversies," Gardner said. "We don't need to create another one."

Resident and Army veteran Myron Bodnar said he was appalled that the conversation had gone on as long as it had, and that the decision should have been made immediately.

"This is the United States of America," Bodnar said. "We need to honor our flag, and we need to honor the people who serve under the flag.

Ultimately, the board voted unanimously to add the pledge, to the applause of the community members in attendance.

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