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I wrote here about my son participating in the school walk-out back in March.

After the recent episode of a teacher kicking a student out of the classroom for taking a knee during the pledge of allegiance, I talked with my kiddos about it, in case it came up during school for them.

Both of my kiddos dislike the pledge - we are not religious, so the “under god” has always rankled with them, and one of them just stands silently, the other one simply omits the “under god” part.


When we discussed the taking a knee, and the reasons behind it, both kiddos said that, if that happened during their pledge, they would join the student taking a knee if the teacher got upset about it. Then my daughter said “we are supposed to be a country of ‘liberty and justice for all’ and the way that we treat African Americans is unacceptable. I might start taking a knee during the pledge on my own to protest it”.

She is in 5th grade, and she’s white. As a white family, I was unsure of how to proceed. Will it just confuse people if she kneels during the pledge? Plus, she’s in 5th grade, with a rather nasty teacher, and I worry about the backlash. I do see that being able to worry more about the backlash than about police brutality is privilege.

If my kiddos see an African American student taking a knee during the pledge, they want to join him.

Please forgive me if my questions are stupid. I’m trying to navigate both the racism of our country, and parenting strong-minded adolescents. So, my question is this - does it take away from the original protester if others join? Does it help, or hinder? Or is this a stupid question, because of COURSE the other NFL players should have joined in the protest? Anyone who does not see the racism of this country is willfully blind.

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