Patriotism. Pride in your country. These are just some of the characteristics that make America great. Former President Calvin Coolidge once stated – “We identify the flag with almost everything we hold dear on earth, peace, security, liberty, our family, our friends, our home. But when we look at our flag and behold it emblazoned with all our rights we must remember that it is equally a symbol of our duties. Every glory that we associate with it is the result of duty done.”
Yet apparently an elementary school in Atlanta, Georgia believes it is never too early to instill a love of globalism over patriotic allegiance in school children. The Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, funded by the American taxpayers, chose to nix the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance from the agenda of its morning meeting. The morning meeting is a schoolwide gathering where parents & students all meet together. Instead, the school replaced the Pledge with the Wolf Pack Chant in the name of inclusion.
Principal Lara Zelski announced in a recent press release that it has become “increasingly obvious” that the Pledge of Allegiance has become far too divisive for her students and parents, and it would no longer be recited during the students’ morning assembly meeting. The decision was made “in an effort to begin our day as a fully inclusive and connected community,” Zelski said. Instead, she continues – “Students will continue to lead the meeting by asking our community to stand to participate in our Wolf Pack Chant together.”
— Bob Roberts (@BobRoberts2A) August 9, 2018
In a letter to “ANCS Families and Friends,” Zelski, attempted to justify and further explain the reason for the decision –
‘One change that we made to our morning meeting agenda this year is that we will not be including the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. Students will continue to lead the meeting by asking our community to stand to participate in our Wolf Pack Chant together. Students will also be given the opportunity to say the pledge at another point during the school day within their classroom. This decision was made in an effort to begin our day as a fully inclusive and connected community.
Over the past couple of years, it has become increasingly obvious that more and more of our community were choosing to not stand and/or recite the pledge. There are many emotions around this and we want everyone in our school family to start their day in a positive manner. After all, that is the whole purpose of our morning meeting.”
Zelski continued – “This decision was made in an effort to begin our day as a fully inclusive and connected community. There are many emotions around the Pledge and we want everyone in our school family to start their day in a positive manner.”
The “Wolf Pack Chant” was apparently a new pledge created by the students and teachers. Zelski said the pledge, most likely named after the school’s wolf mascot, will “focus on students’ civic responsibility to their school family, community, country and our global society.”
The Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School uses the wolf as a mascot and has been in operation in Grant Park since 2002 serving kindergarten through fifth grade in the community.
“Leaders at Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School on Grant Street said students would no longer say the pledge in the morning meeting where students gather in a large group. But on Thursday, the school sent a press release saying it was a miscommunication.
The statement said:
‘Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School has and will continue to provide students with an opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each school day. In the past, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited during our all-school morning meeting, but at the start of the school year, the daily practice was moved to classrooms. This change was done in compliance with state law [O.C.G.A. 20-2-310 (c)(1)] and aligned Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School with most other schools in the state who also say the Pledge of Allegiance in individual classrooms. However, it appears there was some miscommunication and inconsistency in the rollout. Starting next week, we will return to our original format and provide our students with the opportunity to recite the Pledge during the all-school morning meeting.'”
The controversy surrounding the Pledge, the National Anthem, the flag, and other patriotic symbols have been rampant in the last couple of years since former San Fransisco Forty-Niners Quarterback Colin Kaepernick and several other NFL players chose to take a knee on the field during the National Anthem.
Protesting the Pledge, the National Anthem, or other patriotic symbols is a sign of anger and not one of positive action in any manner. Would it be too much to ask that the staff entrusted to teach small impressionable children put aside their OWN political views for a short time to simply teach young children about the various symbols of patriotism that show pride in America and how to show respect for traditions?
It defies comprehension that the politics of the staff were allowed to rule an elementary school that is intended to be an institution to facilitate learning. Yet rather than learning about what an amazing country America is, school children were being fed some drivel about “inclusiveness” and the adults that purport to be in charge simply accept the loss of an opportunity to teach the students patriotism, historical context, and perhaps even a civics lesson. No, instead the school leadership made up a chant, allowing opportunities for learning to continue to pass them by.
Good leadership leads by example. Children learn by imitating that example and what you allow will continue. After all, if school leadership simply blames the NFL and professional athletes and their protests, why not, in turn, allow it to flow down to school children and the Pledge of Allegiance as well? Is no one at the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School willing to step up to set a right example? How sad.