Outrage After Local High School Recites Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic
A Hudson Valley high school's celebration of foreign language week has turned into a firestorm of controversy.
The Times Herald Record reports that Pine Bush High School's morning announcements on Wednesday were met with outrage by some students and faculty.
Senior class president, Andrew Zink, who reads the announcements over the PA each morning, was asked to let another student recite the pledge in Arabic as a way to celebrate national foreign language week. Zink told the Record in an interview that he knew exactly what would happen. Many students got awfully angry.
Immediately after the announcements, social media was flooded by students and outsiders both for and against the reading of the pledge:
Pine Bush High School Principal Aaron Hopmayer took to the PA in the afternoon to make the following statement:
We sincerely apologize for having the Pledge of Allegiance recited this morning in the High School in a language other than English.
To honor National Foreign Language week and in an effort to celebrate the many races, cultures and religions that make up this great country and our school district, the foreign language department planned to read the Pledge of Allegiance and morning announcements in different languages this week. The intention was to promote the fact that those who speak a language other than English still pledge to salute this great country.
We sincerely apologize to any students, staff or community members who found this activity offensive. In our school District the Pledge of Allegiance will only be recited in English, as recommended by the Commissioner of Education.
Unfortunately, for now it looks like the apology has furthered the divide among Pine Bush students and angered those who supported the Arabic reading.
We want to know what you think. Was the school out of line for reading the pledge in a foreign language? Or was the inclusive nature of the announcement something you think is good for the students of Pine Bush?
Let us know in the comments below.