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LIVE at 5:30 p.m.: Fargo School Board meets in wake of Pledge of Allegiance controversy

Fargo School Board members reinstated their policy to say the Pledge of Allegiance prior to meetings. The back-and-forth decisions and debate have spurred threats of violence and national attention.

Fargo School Board member Seth Holden, left, declines to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance with the Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Color Guard at the Tuesday, April 12, 2022, meeting. The board will no longer recite the verse after it rescinded the motion on Tuesday, Aug. 9, voting in favor of removing it.Michael Vosburg/The Forum
Fargo School Board member Seth Holden, left, declines to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance with the Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Color Guard at the Tuesday, April 12, 2022, meeting. The board will begin reciting the pledge prior to meetings after first deciding to not recite it, then voting last week to reinstate it.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum
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FARGO — The Fargo School Board meets tonight, Tuesday, Aug. 23, following a whirlwind of controversy over whether the board should recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of its meetings or not.

The board has garnered national attention, death threats and hate mail as it flip-flopped on the issue. The board had not, at least in the last couple of decades, said the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of its meetings until April of this year when it passed a motion to start doing so.

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According to a statement released by the school district, a masked individual wearing a hoodie placed a large poster on the windows of the main entrance of the school district office about 1 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 21.

Roughly three months later, on Aug. 9, the board, with new members, voted to rescind the motion and to not say the Pledge of Allegiance before its meetings, citing concerns of the wording "under God" and its inclusion policy.

That decision was short-lived as board members received fierce backlash. Only nine days later, the board reconvened in a special meeting, during which they voted 8-1 to reinstate reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to start its meetings.

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InForum's coverage of this issue
The Fargo School Board has called a special meeting for Thursday, Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. to discuss whether the board will say the Pledge of Allegiance to start its meetings — a debate that has become a hot-button issue. InForum will carry a livestream of the meeting here.
The Fargo Public School Board has received an abundance of attention locally and nationally about its Aug. 9 decision to not recite the Pledge of Allegiance prior to board meetings.
In a memo, Fargo School Board President Tracie Newman said she doesn't want controversy to divert board resources away from preparing for the upcoming school year.
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North Dakota allows schools to authorize voluntary recitation of the pledge, so what would Gov. Doug Burgum propose to make it stronger?
In memo, Tracie Newman says she doesn't want controversy to divert board resources away from preparing for school year
Ugly, vicious, profane and racist emails and phone calls, from all parts of the country, have been sent to Fargo School Board members following the board's decision to drop the Pledge of Allegiance at its meetings
The Fargo School Board voted 7-2 in favor of rescinding a previous approved motion to begin their bi-weekly meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. The board ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance didn't align with the Fargo Public School District's diversity code.
Before the vote, several members of the Fargo School Board mentioned they had received a storm of hateful calls and emails, some of them threatening, as well as calls of support.
The move comes in the wake of a 7-2 decision by the Fargo School Board last week to rescind an earlier decision requiring that the Pledge of Allegiance be recited at the start of each board meeting.
One of the best things about our freedom of speech, and participatory politics, is that everyone gets a say. One of the worst things is that "everyone" includes a lot of morons.
Let's not forget who it was that thought it a good idea for the school board to open this front in the culture war. Serving on a school board is not a license to indulge in personal political vendettas.

Related Topics: FARGO SCHOOL BOARD
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