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Pledge of Allegiance starts day in Manteca Unified classrooms
Manteca Unified Superintendent Jason Messer: We expect every class in MUSD to say it every day. Most schools do it together as a school. ... Students do not have to recite it. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is a daily ritual before classes begin in all of Manteca Unified School District classrooms. That patriotic mandate holds true for all grade levels, from kindergarten to high school.

“We expect every class in MUSD to say it every day. Most schools do it together as a school,” said Superintendent Jason Messer.

While there had been some controversy (not in Manteca) over the inclusion of the phrase, “under God,” The pledge recited by teachers and students in the district do say “under God.”

There is also some leeway provided to any student who may not want to stand and join in the recitation of the pledge.

“Students do not have to recite it but in most cases they stand when the pledge is being said,” Messer said.

In elementary schools such as Joshua Cowell, the students assemble in the school’s courtyard and all together recite the pledge before going to respective classrooms. However, in deference to the comfort of the students in the winter when it’s cold or rainy outside, the pledge is said with the students inside their classrooms. At Joshua Cowell, the pledge becomes part of the daily announcements on the PA system with Principal Bonnie Bennett doing the leading from her office.