Are you kidding me.
A public school in New York state’s foreign language department arranged to have “the pledge of allegiance” recited in a different language each day for a week. I despise “the pledge” for many reasons – I think it’s nationalistic, coercive, theocratic, and just generally dopy and obnoxious – but if you’re going to have one, reciting it in different languages is quite a cool idea.
And Pine Bush High School in Pine Bush, New York decided to do that and it did it but uh oh uh oh, one of the languages was…brace yourselves…Arabic. Oh no!! Not Arabic!
So people pitched fits and the school said it was so so sorry and will never do it again.
Complaints were received from residents who lost family in Afghanistan and from Jewish parents, an official said.
What’s that got to do with anything?! Arabic is not the language of Afghanistan, and it isn’t invariably the language of anti-Semitism either. It’s a language, not a political affiliation or a party platform.
The school district superintendant, Joan Carbone, told the Times Herald-Record newspaper that the Arabic pledge has “divided the school in half” and that she had received numerous complaints.
A statement from the district apologised “to any students, staff or community members who found this activity disrespectful” and said the reading was intended to “promote the fact that those who speak a language other than English still pledge to salute this great country”.
An Arabic-speaking student read the pledge during morning announcements at Pine Bush High School in Pine Bush, New York, on Wednesday.
I bet that student feels super-welcomed and accepted now.
Many students reportedly shouted their disapproval during the recitation, and later complained on social media.
Later in the afternoon, the school’s principal made a school-wide announcement to explain why the pledge was read in Arabic and to apologise for those who took offence.
Ms Carbone said the pledge would only be read in English in the future.
The school’s student leader, Andrew Zink, who is in charge of the morning announcements, told the local newspapers that he knew the reading would attract controversy.
He permitted it to go forward, because he believed it was “the right thing to do”.
But the school unfortunately went belly-up to the ignorant and benighted people who “shouted their disapproval.”