Around Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, Wednesday's court ruling was greeted with strong opinions this morning:
? "We'll continue to operate the way we always have. Most schools have a policy that states that the children will do the Pledge of Allegiance. Circuit courts don't have the ability to overturn the policies of all the districts." Curtis Creek School District Superintendent Larry Hoyt.
? "As a teacher I was very surprised by the ruling. It's become such a way of life, I think the students will miss it. I think it's really important for the students to have a sense of patriotism. If it goes against their religion I don't want to force them. I can see where it does cause a conflict between church and state, but I would hate to lose the pledge altogether." Curtis Creek sixth-grade teacher Joan Mosley.
? "I think it's ridiculous. We say the pledge every morning in the whole school. It helps us pull together as a school, a community and is just a little bit of a focus. I'm sure it will be worked out in democratic fashion, but we are a nation that works under God. It's a hard one. Actually, I'm surprised it hasn't been more of a conflict in the past." Soulsbyville School District Superintendent Diana Page.
? "I am incredibly disturbed by the court's decision in this matter. A judge who believes the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional doesn't belong on the bench. With that kind of logic, our money, the presidential oath of office, and the U.S. House of Representatives could be declared unconstitutional too." U.S. Rep. George Radanovich, R-Fresno.
? "This ruling is utterly deplorable, despicable and destructive ... This ruling smacks of the worst kind of political activism by this clearly left leaning panel." State Sen. Dick Monteith, R-Modesto.
? "The law's the law and we will follow the law. I think the timing was not good considering 9-11. I think it will be overturned. We are in a time in our society when patriotism is a good thing." Dennis Wong, Summerville High School associate principal.