Widespread criticism of Fargo school board rejecting Pledge leads to special meeting

Following the Fargo School Board’s Aug. 9 vote to stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of its school board meetings, the decision has received national attention and has led to public outcry, with even North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum calling for legislation that protects the opportunity for elected governing bodies to recite the Pledge before meetings.

Possible vote on reinstating the Pledge of Allegiance

Given the “significant negative local and national feedback” the board and district have received on the decision, school board president Tracie Newman has called for a special meeting “to discuss the impact our previous decision has had on the District, its operations, and its image, and to offer a motion to reinstate the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of our regular meetings directly following the call to order.”

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. at the District Office Board Room.

“Appropriating time and resources from other District responsibilities”

School board president Newman stated in her memo that the “negative” feedback received on the decision was taking “time and resources from other District responsibilities.”

Correcting the “misinformation” circulating about the board’s decision and impact would also “divert even more staff and Board time and resources away from preparing for the start of the 2022-2023 school year.”

Previous to the board’s Aug. 9 decision, the Pledge of Allegiance has been recited at each regular board meeting since April 12. Recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in the district’s classrooms was not impacted by the board’s decision.