Fargo School Board votes to no longer recite pledge of allegiance at meetings

Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff
Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff

(Fargo, ND) -- By a 7-2 vote, the Fargo School Board has removed a part of their agenda approved just months ago.

After a push by board member and current Vice President Seth Holden, the Pledge of Allegiance will no longer be on the agenda to begin board meetings moving forward.

Holden, who has stated he does not believe in god, noted that while he does not completely disagree with the pledge, in his words there are "factual inaccuracies" inside it, including that all Americans receive liberty and justice. He noted during comments with other board members that the pledge diverts from the district message of equity and inclusion, that being that many in the area and country do not believe or have a different god than what is perceived in the pledge.

Several other board members, while not saying they disagreed personally with the pledge, did say the focus of board meetings should be on students and education, while also presenting a 'unified message' at the beginning of meetings, rather than one that divides members as well as the community.

Robin Nelson, the only board member who was up for re-election and retained her seat this past June, voted against the motion citing her 'choice' to stand and say the pledge. Nelson was joined by Nikkie Gullickson, who also voted no on the motion.

Several parents and community members, along with former board member David Paulson, spoke at the beginning of the school board meeting in support of keeping the pledge in place. Paulson was the board member who originally put in motion the pledge being recited at the beginning of board meetings. This had stood since being approved March 22nd. If you want to watch the full school board meeting, including discussion on this topic, click here.

The next Fargo School Board meeting takes place on Tuesday, August 23rd.