Y’all know how proud I am to have been born and raised in Atlanta, GA, a truly historic place. My neighborhood was the iconic Old Fourth Ward that was a centerpiece of the Civil Rights movement — birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his final resting place on Sweet Auburn Avenue. However, something has happened in Atlanta of which I am not proud, and that I find utterly disappointing.
As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, (which awarded me their Journal Cup, as the most outstanding Senior in the 1979 graduating class of Henry Grady HS):
“An Atlanta charter school will not recite the Pledge of Allegiance as part of its morning meeting agenda. Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School on Grant Street announced the change Tuesday in a statement from elementary campus president Lara Zelski. The decision was made “in an effort to begin our day as a fully inclusive and connected community,” Zelski said. “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.”
Students will be given the opportunity to say the pledge at another point during the school day and they will continue to be asked to stand to participate in the school’s Wolf Pack Chant each morning, according to the statement. “Teachers and the K-5 leadership team will be working with students to create a school pledge that we can say together at morning meeting,” Zelski said. That pledge, she said, “will focus on students’ civic responsibility to their school family, community, country and our global society.”
I am truly a big supporter of school choice options, including charter schools, but this is nonsense. Folks are gonna cast aside the Pledge of Allegiance, to the flag of the United States, and create their very own “pledge?”
This is how it starts, the indoctrination, and ends up with kids who have no clue, or understanding, about America, our flag — which is our standard — and the essence of living in a Constitutional Republic. What is this stuff about being “fully inclusive and connected community?” What can be more inclusive and connected than to be a part of the American community, for which men and women have bled, and died, to preserve?
Here we go yet again, making our nation, our rule of law, our traditions, culture, and values subservient. This is sickening to the nth degree.
We have a civic responsibility as Americans, but if we have schools that seek to redefine the very meaning of that civic responsibility — based upon some ideological agenda — we fail as a nation. We lose our common sense of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.Here we go yet again, making our nation, our rule of law, our traditions, culture, and values subservient. This is sickening to the nth degree. Click To Tweet
As I have said so many times, the most important elected position in America is that of school board, so that absurdity such as this is squashed.
On November 30, 1785, George Washington wrote a letter to James Madison, author of our Constitution, and these words were included in that letter:
“We are either a United people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all matters of general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a National character to support—If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it. for whilst we are playing a dble game, or playing a game between the two we never shall be consistent or respectable—but may be the dupes of some powers and, most assuredly, the contempt of all.”
Today, more than ever, those words reign true, and especially at the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School on Grant Street. What an appalling shame!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Within hours of publishing this article, the school announced that there had been “miscommunication and inconsistency in the rollout” of the proposed change, and would revert back to the original format.]
During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom. His forthcoming book, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, is due fall 2018 from Brown Books Publishing Group.