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Junior High student helps to reinstate Pledge of Allegiance

| February 16, 2017
Jeremiah Mayle is pictured saying the Pledge of Allegiance at River View Junior High School. Mayle had a petition signed by students and staff to reinstate the Pledge.

Jerimiah Mayle is pictured saying the Pledge of Allegiance at River View Junior High School. Mayle had a petition signed by students and staff to reinstate the Pledge.

WARSAW – At 7:39 a.m. every week day, the bell rings at River View Junior High and students head to class to begin their day. But on Thursday, Feb. 2, their morning routine started out differently as all the students stood up, hands over their hearts, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

The idea to begin each day with the Pledge came from one eighth grader, Jerimiah Mayle, who recently became a student at River View. After asking Principal Jerry Olinger why they didn’t start the day with the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayle decided to take matters into his own hands and started a petition to have the Pledge recited every day at the beginning of the school day. Mayle received more than 200 signatures of students and staff.

“At my old school, we did it every day,” said Mayle. “It’s more like one of the things that should always happen. Once I moved here, they didn’t say the Pledge. It just felt like a tradition to me. It just didn’t feel right having the Pledge not said. I started asking teachers why there was no Pledge and they didn’t know. That wasn’t the right answer. That wasn’t an acceptable answer.”

Mayle’s petition received 203 names and on Tuesday, Jan. 31 and Wednesday, Feb. 1, the seventh and eighth grade Social Studies and American History classes gave a lesson on why the Pledge is said and what it means so that each student would have a sense of pride and a historical perspective when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

“As soon as Jerimiah approached me, I knew we were going to start saying the Pledge again,” said Principal Jerry Olinger. “I’m just really pleased about how this is an example of how one person can make a difference.”

Each morning since the Pledge has been reinstated, a different student has led the Pledge every day over the intercom in the office. Of course, Mayle was the first student to lead the school in the Pledge.

“It makes me feel great,” said Mayle. “It wasn’t just me, though. It was every single person that supported it. It was every single person that signed the petition. I just was the one who got it started. It wasn’t just me. It was everyone.”

Olinger posted a photo and a brief description on social media at 10 a.m. that morning. By 7 p.m. that night, more than 80,000 people had seen it. As of the time when this article was written, it had 219,045 views, 4.6k likes, 2,212 shares, and 424 comments on Facebook.

“We put it on Facebook just to keep parents informed,” said Olinger. “When it started, I couldn’t believe how quickly it spread. Some of the comments were coming from Kansas, California, and Wisconsin. The comments were overwhelmingly positive, thanking Jeremiah for what he did.”

Mayle’s actions also got the attention of the Coshocton County Board of Realtors and the Coshocton County Veterans Service Commission.

“It was something I was very passionate about,” said Joe Scott, representative of the Board of Realtors. “It fills my heart with pride to have a young man take the initiative to question why the Pledge was not being said and to start a petition.”

Mayle will be honored at the Coshocton Memorial Day service and has been invited to say the Pledge at the event. Scott has even written a letter to Gov. John Kasich asking for his support.

“When Joe approached me and told me what he would like to do, I felt, with us being veteran advocates, that our office should be involved in some way,” said Jim Barstow, VSO at the Coshocton County Veterans Service Office. “We have a strong belief that patriotism should be at the forefront of people’s minds.”

Mayle wants to make sure the Pledge is said at River View Junior High for a long time to come.

“I just did it because I know it was the right thing,” said Mayle. “To not say the Pledge just did not make sense to me. Why abandon it?”

Olinger agrees.

“We say it every day and we will continue to say it every day,” he said.

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Category: Education

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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