Let lions roar!

Let lions roar!

At the beginning of every school year, teachers are required to give small, rectangular, pieces of paper out to every student;  this is meant to be studied, referenced and even loved.   Sure, it’s usually a plain, average piece of tree, but that average piece of paper is filled with more pride, honor and respect than most people could ever muster up in their lifetime.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s the school’s Lion Pledge.

We all know how it begins:  “I have the roar of a mountain lion, to respect myself, others, and the community in which I belong…”

We all also know that the first line is usually the farthest most students get before their voice fades into incoherent mumbles or just stops all together.

I remember the start of my seventh grade year–gosh, it was so much simpler back then.  It was before the IDs were even thought of, leggings were worn and Twinkies were discontinued.  I remember my homeroom English teacher reciting us the pledge, and even making a deal with us.  He told us that if we could memorize the pledge and recite it in front of the class without pausing or forgetting the words, that we would get a prize of some sort.

Since I was an innocent, doe-eyed seventh grader who was absolutely naive to how junior high school worked, of course I thought it would be the coolest thing ever to be awarded with a prize; basically everyone else in my class was as excited as me.

Though, I never got one of the prizes, other people did achieve the ‘impossible.’  I saw their look of determination fused with nervousness as they recited the pledge, I felt their feeling of hopefulness as they waited for the teacher to decided whether their speech passed or not, and I smiled and clapped after they picked up their fully deserved prize.

Now, since we’ve all traded our innocent doe-eyes in for devil horns and standoffishness, the Lion Pledge does not seem to have the appeal it once did to us students.

The bottomline is: not many students say the pledge anymore.  I’m not sure if it was from laziness, post-morning sleepiness or just being a teenager in general but, we’ve definitely let saying the pledge go.

Though it’s not just the students who don’t put in an effort to show the pride, it’s also the teachers who aren’t putting in enough effort.  My first period teacher does not make us say it at all, not all teachers, but most teachers think the Lion Pledge is a waste of time that in which they could be starting their lesson.

Though, with as many teachers who haven’t been promoting the pledge, the chorus teacher definitely makes up for it.  When I was still in chorus class last year, she made us say it every single morning of every single day–and we did not say it with enthusiasm, she’d tell us to.  Honestly, we need more teachers like that, no matter how much you want to fight them.

Students need structure and something to believe in, and the Lion Pledge gives them that.  We need something to link us all together, because we’re all different.  The pledge is a great way to to bring us all together, even if it’s barely five minutes; it’s better to show spirit than be divided.