No Fly Zone

It’s See You at the Pole day, an international prayer event started back in the 90’s, where students pray at the flagpoles at their schools. It’s a thought-provoking event, on many levels.

You might think about how this event relates to prayer in the schools. One site on religious tolerance talks about the relevant clauses of the Constitution, Jesus’ teachings on public prayer, and then goes further to critique some of these SYATP events.

You might think about how kids express their Christianity. I really like what this youth pastor has to say in his blog on this year’s event, and everyday life as a Christian kid.

But I actually didn’t think about the prayer, or the Christianity part, this year.

What struck me was — my daughter’s school does not have a flagpole. They have flags of the world in the classrooms, but no American flag out front. According to an article on the pledge of allegiance, public schools have had flagpoles since at least the 1800’s. She goes to a Montessori school, but other Montessori schools have flagpoles.

So the question remains: why doesn’t my daughter’s school have a flagpole? And what are the kids missing by not having one?

Well, yes, they are missing the opportunity to have a SYATP event, or some other patriotic, flag-oriented event. But perhaps more importantly, they are missing the opportunity to have thoughtful Montessori discussions about the flag that flies on it.

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