PLEDGE RETURNS AT LHS

November 01, 2001 12:00 am
PATRIOTIC SPIRIT: La Grande High School senior Angel Cripps, foreground, leads six students in the Pledge of Allegiance. The students joining her are Randi Rader, Nancy Arceo, Courtenay Hitchon, Chris Wagner, J.B. Weber and Kelli Greenough. (The Observer/DICK MASON).
PATRIOTIC SPIRIT: La Grande High School senior Angel Cripps, foreground, leads six students in the Pledge of Allegiance. The students joining her are Randi Rader, Nancy Arceo, Courtenay Hitchon, Chris Wagner, J.B. Weber and Kelli Greenough. (The Observer/DICK MASON).

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

Friday will be a milestone in La Grande High Schools history.

Students will begin reciting the Pledge of Allegiance together twice a week. This will be the first time in at least 20 years that students have said the pledge regularly at the school.

Students will be honoring the American flag and the spirit of a fallen veteran.

The pledge emphasis was started through the leadership of Angel Cripps, a student inspired by the memory of her late father.

David Cripps served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He died of cancer in 1992.

It is believed that the form of cancer he developed was caused by exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. The United States used Agent Orange extensively as a defoliant in Vietnam.

David Cripps patriotic spirit was not dimmed by this knowledge.

When he learned about what his government had done to him he still wanted to be buried in uniform, Angel Cripps said.

She will never forget this.

I learned that people pay a price to live in this country, she said.

Like other Americans, Cripps was stunned by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. She felt helpless at first.

I felt that there had to be something I can do to bring people together, she said.

The LHS senior began working to put a program in place in which students say the pledge of allegiance twice a week. She circulated a petition that was signed by 115 students who supported her plan. Cripps then presented her proposal to the Student Senate. The 70-member senate overwhelmingly approved the

proposal.

Students will say the pledge at 8:05 every Friday and Monday morning led by a student broadcaster on Tiger Television, LHSs morning news program. The show is seen by students in all LHS classrooms.

Everyone will be asked to stand. Those who do not want to say the pledge will not be required to.

LHS students who support the idea include Nancy Arceo.

I think that it is nice to respect the memory of the people who suffered (in the terrorist attacks), Arceo said.

La Grande High School Principal Doug Potter said he admires the initiative Cripps took and the proper steps she followed. It is easier for students to

start programs like this now because the senate has been

reorganized.

It proves that the process works, Potter said.

Cripps proposed that the pledge be said twice a week rather than every school day because then the impact might be lost.

It would seem less important,, she said.

Cripps said it was not hard for her to support the pledge.

When you believe in something and know that it is right, it is not hard to do it, she said.