Will Phillips is my hero.

Fifth grader Will Phillips refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance because gays and lesbians do not enjoy “liberty and justice for all.” Will, you’re my hero. There’s no way I’d have had the backbone as a ten-year-old to take a stance on anything. (See, this is why I’m scared to have kids. Sometimes it seems like the only alternatives are to raise a mouth-breathing jerk – like the ones calling Will names – or to have a smart, brave kid who gets beat up by the mouth-breathers. I’m not sure I could deal with either.)


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  1. If it makes you feel any better, I refused to stand up for the pledge as a kid too. I got yelled at once by a teacher, but never beaten up by mouth breathers… I think my peers were more amazed that I wasn’t standing and also annoyed that they felt like they had to. But really, it wasn’t a big deal to anyone but me, 98% of the time.

  2. You didn’t get interviewed on TV saying you were doing it for gay rights. Kids can be pretty cruel… (Still, I’m impressed!)

  3. Always so black and white with you! 🙂 There’s another option, and that’s to raise children who will love others *no matter what* — a tall order for anyone, because we ourselves don’t do it. We also need to teach our kids that it’s not a question of if/why they will get bullied, but WHEN — and to respond appropriately!

  4. We’re going for option 2. Life is hard, being beaten up on the way home from chess club, but the long term rewards (like being able to live with your conscience) are better!

  5. Similar. I stopped saying “under god” in about fifth grade (took it back old-school, pre-1954 stylee), then stopped saying it, then stopped standing at all (probably around January 2001). Nobody cared except the odd teacher… unless, of course, I explained it was because I didn’t believe in god. No mouth-breather beatdowns, fortunately.

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