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Select board votes to stop Pledge of Allegiance

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 5:39 PM EDT
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WINDSOR, Vt. (WCAX) - The town of Windsor was thrust into the national spotlight over controversial remarks from a school principal about the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, the town is back in the news after the select board voted to do away with the Pledge of Allegiance. Our Adam Sullivan reports.

The select board in the town of Windsor has voted to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings. And it's not the only board in the region discussing that possibility.

"Liberty and justice for all." It's a handful of words at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance that some select board members in Windsor feel the country is not living up to.

“I try to live by those ideals, so at a point, it becomes very difficult to me in my personal life to recite words that fairly obviously are not being upheld by our government,” said Christopher Goulet, a member of the select board.

Goulet was among the majority on the five-member board. The motion to do away with the pledge was introduced following the death of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed that highlight racial inequities that some feel are pervasive throughout the country.

Reporter Adam Sullivan: Liberty and justice for all... Doesn’t that mean that we are all in this together?

Christopher Goulet: Correct, but again there is no need to have a compelled political recitation in order to ensure that.

"We might not meet up to those standards today; we will one day," said Thomas McLeod of Windsor.

I met Mcleod as he walked his dog on Main Street. The Marine Corps veteran was visibly emotional and seemed to be personally offended by the select board's vote.

“All that we did and all that we gave was for naught? Are you kidding me right now? So yeah, we should not just pledge allegiance to the flag but live it,” McLeod said.

By coincidence, the Hartford Select Board also debated the issue this week, though no action final was taken. Select board member Joe Major is also a veteran.

"I served in the military just for that, for those people who want to continue to say the pledge or not say the pledge," Major said.

Both Major and Goulet say they are proud of the civil discourse taking place in their towns.

"We don't have to agree to be a community," Goulet said.

Town officials in Windsor made it clear the motion only applies to select board meetings and has no influence on other town government or the local school district.

Copyright 2020 WCAX. All rights reserved.

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