Pledge Recall Fizzles in Madison (Jan/Feb 2002)

A rightwing attempt to recall Bill Keys, a member of the school board in Madison, Wisconsin, over the Pledge of Allegiance issue, failed abysmally late last year.

Recall petitioners were tens of thousands of signatures short in their effort and missed the early December filing deadline. The pledge controversy in Madison (see Freethought Today, Nov. 2001) made national headlines after rightwing radio personalities orchestrated an email campaign against the school board in October. The board had voted to satisfy a new state law by having schools play the national anthem rather than recite the Pledge of Allegiance, following community concerns over “under God” in the oath and enforced patriotism. The school board then revoked the policy, leaving it up to principals to decide whether to use the anthem or the pledge.

However, Bill Keys, a retired high school teacher and former president of the teacher’s union, remained stalwart and refused to back down on the issue, despite the national uproar.

Freedom From Religion Foundation