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Ill. Father Freaks Out Over Pledge, Gets Banned

A hyper-nationalist father in Geneva, Illinois misheard students saying the Pledge of Allegiance at his child’s school, flipped his lid, started ranting about Nazi propaganda and shedding blood and got banned from the grounds of the elementary school.

The guy heard a kindergarten class reciting the pledge of allegiance, after which they recite the school creed, which is:

In order to develop good citizens,
We believe that every person should:

Treat others with respect
Follow school and classroom rules
Try their best

The parent started a huge argument over it, then sent the following email to school administrators and some parents from the district:

Dear School District 304,

As a courtesy I’m letting you know I’ve engaged the American Center for Justice and Law (ACLJ) as well as multiple conservative and verteran groups. I’m also contacting IL state legislators.

I WILL NOT stand for my children standing in front of the flag, hand on heart, reciting a corrupted Pledge of Allegiance that leaves out “liberty” and has students stating they will obey all rules and commands of teachers. I witnessed this first hand today and am ashamed. You are teaching fascism plain and simple. My children will not grow up as blind followers who don’t think for themselves.

I can think of no reason for having a separate pledge for kindergarteners and first graders then indoctrination of the young. Not going to happen on my watch. I’ve shed blood for this Country and will do so again if necessary.

My mother spent 12 years in a prison camp. I’m NOT ALLOWING you to introduce a Nazi way of life into the USA.

Kind Regards,

Colin M. McGroarty MBA, MCSE

That nutball has now quite rightly been barred from school grounds and is being investigated.

Comments

  1. says

    I WILL NOT stand for my children standing in front of the flag, hand on heart, reciting a corrupted Pledge of Allegiance that leaves out “liberty” . . . My children will not grow up as blind followers who don’t think for themselves.

    But if they had left the word “liberty” in, no blind following going on?

    *scratches head*

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    I WILL NOT stand for my children standing in front of the flag, hand on heart, reciting a corrupted Pledge of Allegiance that leaves out “liberty”…

    There must be awards on Teh Internetz for irony.

  3. Crudely Wrott says

    Kindergarten age kids are not well known for their ability to enunciate let alone to recite a string of, to them, cryptic words they likely don’t understand.

    Dad’s problem is not what he thought he heard, it is what he expected to hear. His expectations were wrong.

    Other than that he sounds like another screaming ninny.

  4. nonnymus says

    Just so everyone knows his ‘academic’ qualifications consist of a Masters in Business Administration and being a Microsoft Certified Software Engineer. His ‘honorifics’ are a parody of academic or professional honors, which is why most people who aren’t physicians, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers or Ph.D.’s refrain from using honorifics. What a maroon!

  5. DonDueed says

    Wait, what happened to I. Father and II. Father?

    Oh, hang on. I get it. It’s “ill father”. Quite appropriate.

  6. nonnymus says

    bobafuct (#5). The guy’s tech resume reads like someone who’s moved around quite a bit to find permanent jobs while also working as a ‘consultant’ in his own one-person consulting firm. I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if his failure to hold down a job for more than a couple of years is due to his paranoia and anger management problems.

    But hey, he’s wearing an amusing false mustache in his Facebook profile photo, so he must be an o.k. dude!

    http://www.facebook.com/colin.mcgroarty?fref=ts

  7. Mr Ed says

    I’m seeing something like this in my family. My father in law has been watching more and more Glenn Beck and Fox News. When you are bombarded all the time about how your freedom is under attack you tend to see it. last I knew my FIL was sure that the fiscal cliff would completely destroy our economy and we would end up with some so sort of Hunger Games Obama world. Group think

  8. noastronomer says

    Dad!!! You’re embarassing me!!!

    (and I really like how this gentleman has taken to heart the new definition of fascism as ‘stuff I don’t agree with’)

  9. arakasi says

    OK, so the recitation of a creed to treat others with respect, follow the school rules, and try your best is indoctrination into a fascist worldview, while pledging allegiance to a flag is the height of freedom and patriotism. Apparently due the recognized legal precident of Quia ego sic dico*
    At least the school creed is understandable to the average kindergartener.
    _
    *”Because I say so”

  10. Scr... Archivist says

    There was no need for him to contact Verteran groups. Their rights are just as well respected in the U.S. as they are on their homeworld.

  11. raven says

    A Kane County Sheriff’s deputy was stationed for the second day Friday at Mill Creek Elementary School near Geneva, in reaction to a parent’s protest of how children were saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

    McGroarty has been issued a restraining order and police are now stationed at the school.

    There is no explanation for why his kids are still attending that school though. They are in danger of turning into normal people or maybe even a Democrats.

  12. jnorris says

    An adult (maybe) having a temper tantrum over what he thinks a group of 5-6 years olds didn’t say. Good thing there were no Jehovah Witnesses in the room not saying the pledge.

  13. eric says

    Dear School District 304,
    I can’t tell the difference between reciting two separate statements and one long statement. As a courtesy, I’m letting you know that I will be filing a suit on behalf of all Americans who, like me, lack the basic listening skills of your kindergarteners, as you are clearly discriminating against us.

  14. says

    @ nonnymus

    Not wanting a permanent job is not necessarily a sign of insanity. I worked as a contractor for 10 years and refused several permanent offers, including at the place I finally accepted a permanent position after four years as a contractor. Main reason I went permanent is the security now that I’m older.

  15. steve84 says

    Having kindergarteners recite loyal pledges they don’t understand it precisely something the Nazis and other totalitarian regimes did

  16. DaveL says

    Does anyone know at what grade level kids are typically taught what a ‘republic’ is, or what ‘allegiance’ means?

  17. MyPetSlug says

    nonnymus @ 8,
    As a software engineer myself the industry is very fast paced. There are lots of startup companies out there that go through an arc where they hire like crazy, the product doesn’t do well after a few years, and then they lay everybody off. Or they’re bought, people’s stock options vest and then a bunch of people leave for greener pastures. Plus, the software/IT industry in general is still doing pretty well despite the ecomony, so at least in my area it’s still common for companies to poach people from other companies.

    I’m not saying that guy’s not unstable. I’m just saying, having a pattern of leaving a company every few years doesn’t really mean anything. It’s just the nature of the industry. In fact, it’s much more rare for someone to stay at a company for 10 years.

  18. DaveL says

    bobafuct (#5). The guy’s tech resume reads like someone who’s moved around quite a bit to find permanent jobs while also working as a ‘consultant’ in his own one-person consulting firm.

    It struck me more as a hopeless sh*tstorm of meaningless buzzwords.

    Can someone with knowledge of the U.S. Army training program please comment on his “Certificate of Appreciation” from the 12th Airborne two months prior to his graduation from the U.S. Field Artillery training center?

  19. says

    So he objects to this creed, but NOT to the pledge? I guess nothing says “FREEDOM!” like a mandatory morning loyalty oath.

    Personally, I find them both kinda creepy.

  20. cjcolucci says

    Love those rote pledges. My wife, whose age I will not reveal except to say that she has matured like fine wine, sometimes slips and refers to the Pledge of Allegiance as the “pledgeallegiance,” which is what she and her schoolmates called it in primary school. And don’t get me started about this mysterious “Richard Stans” character mentioned in the Pledge.
    New Yorkers of a certain age must have wondered why they should not be led into Penn Station, and many others must have wondered who this busybody Mrs. Murphy was, who followed us all the days of our lives.

  21. Sastra says

    Wait, this guy is on to something. They’re forcing little kids to make a commitment to “try their best?” At all times? And in all ways? Without fail? Like hyper-driven zealots?

    As a concerned parent, I worry about the stress involved in setting up such unrealistic expectations. And yes, I am prepared to shed blood for this — in a half-assed, second-rate, when- I -finally- haul- myself-off -the- couch-and-get-around-to-it sort of way, of course.

  22. says

    I’m glad we have conservatives to protect us from the coming Nazi apocalypse. When the Nazis start making us do things like respect one another and follow the rules, then we’ve clearly lost all that liberty that was left out of the pledge but wasn’t.

  23. says

    Without realizing how it had come about, the combat men in the squadron discovered themselves dominated by the administrators appointed to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, Captain Black replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was; to Captain Black it was as simple as that, and he had Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else.
    “The important thing is to keep them pledging,” he explained to his cohorts. “It doesn’t matter whether they mean it or not. That’s why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what ‘pledge’ and ‘allegiance’ means.” — Catch-22

  24. Rodney Nelson says

    fifthdentist #31

    My favorite character in Catch-22 is Major ____ de Coverley who stops the loyalty oath crusade by refusing to sign a loyalty oath in the mess hall and says “Give me eat…Give everyone eat!”

  25. Doug Little says

    My children will not grow up as blind followers who don’t think for themselves.

    I wonder if he is cramming religion down their throats yet?

  26. Michael Heath says

    Ed reports:

    The guy heard a kindergarten class reciting the pledge of allegiance, after which they recite the school creed, which is:

    In order to develop good citizens,
    We believe that every person should:
    Treat others with respect
    Follow school and classroom rules
    Try their best

    I gag on “treat others with respect”. Respect should be earned, so they should have framed this point around the need to tolerate others.

  27. No One says

    nonnymus

    January 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    bobafuct (#5). The guy’s tech resume reads like someone who’s moved around quite a bit to find permanent jobs while also working as a ‘consultant’ in his own one-person consulting firm. I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if his failure to hold down a job for more than a couple of years is due to his paranoia and anger management problems.

    But hey, he’s wearing an amusing false mustache in his Facebook profile photo, so he must be an o.k. dude!

    http://www.facebook.com/colin.mcgroarty?fref=ts

    You have the wrong McGroarty. I have been to the facebook page of the one in article above. THIS IS NOT THE GUY (the link provided in the quote).

  28. says

    Michael, I find your objection to be rather odd. “Respect others” is basically education-speak for “Don’t be an ass to others” or “Show common decency.” There is a basic level of respect that all people are entitled to as, you know, people; this doesn’t really go beyond that to anything else.

  29. martinc says

    Did he really write “American Center for Justice and Law” and then get the acronym wrong “(ACLJ)”?

    PS. I agree with MyPetSlug @ 22. Moving around a lot in the IT industry is not a sign of possible anti-social problems; it’s a sign of being in the IT industry.

  30. tainthammer says

    Scr… (@13) made me actually LOL. Love to hear an interview with this guy now that he’s probably had someone explain to him what they were actually reciting.

  31. dontpanic says

    Yikes, too close to home (literal home, that is).

    Raven, I’m afraid there are plenty of republicans locally. Though, I read reports that he’s not actually local, but a Rockford resident (~50 miles NW); children attend in Geneva district due to mother’s residence. Hmm, perhaps there’s are reason they’re not together?

    Pleeze, pleeze FSM let there not be a need for the hospital that is 1/2 mile up the road. Fuck this freaks me out.

  32. gworroll says

    DaveL @23:

    There could be a lot of things. Civilians are sometimes given certificates of appreciation, a local business that supports the troops, or someone who helps organize morale activities.

    Also, soliders change specialty sometimes. You might start in the infantry and later on shift over to artillery. In most cases, this will involve formal training in the new specialty.

    There are also more advanced training courses that soldiers go on after initial training and a few years of service. Some related to specific types of postings within the field, a particular subfield, related management, or just more advanced skills that we don’t need everyone trained in.

  33. seivadthe says

    MCSE? As in Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert? You stick that at the end of a letter?
    I need to start adding MSCA and CCNA at the end of mine, hmm, and my BFBC2 achievements, I can shoot pixels, be afraid!

  34. Olav says

    OK, beside the matter, but still…

    In one IT firm where I used to work, MSCE meant Must Consult Someone Experienced.

    Many times such certified “experts” would show intimate familiarity with Microsoft products, but no understanding of general principles or practices.

    It meant for example that they would not recognise a superior solution to a problem if they had not learnt about it in Microsoft class.

  35. Michael Heath says

    TCC writes:

    Michael, I find your objection to be rather odd. “Respect others” is basically education-speak for “Don’t be an ass to others” or “Show common decency.” There is a basic level of respect that all people are entitled to as, you know, people; this doesn’t really go beyond that to anything else.

    That’s the way you interpret it, where I’m fully cognizant this definition is one of a handful of meanings for the word respect. But the definition you refer to is predominately leveraged by conservative Christians, who demand your definition of respect based on authority, hierarchy, and the cultural privilege they claim (sometimes unconsciously), their demand for respect is not based on earning the type of respect which uses the word as its most popularly understood.

    In the educative realm consider the fact that conservative Christians are predominately creationists. Because of their privilege, because their leaders promote creationism, because of their promotion the government promote their beliefs, they demand your definition of respect be afforded to them when it comes their creationist beliefs; as if it was worthy of the same respect the theory of evolution has earned using my definition of the term. In this example we see a defective conflation of two very different meanings for the word respect. Using your term creates confusion I think we should avoid; if we want to promote your ideals, ““Don’t be an ass to others” or “Show common decency”, then I recommend using words which don’t lead to type of confusion that anti-education advocates misconstrue to promote their absurd beliefs.

    On a related note this is why I never use the words “believe” or “belief” to describe my own conclusions; or that of other people I observe making structurally sound arguments. That’s because Christians and other religionists so frequently elevate the word belief for evidence-less observations they make – which are also frequently incoherent, to a meaning equivalent to somebody’s conclusion where the evidence is compelling or even convincing – an enormous fallacy of equivalency leveraged by a word having multiple meanings.

    If the school chant had used the term ‘theory’ where the word was used to mean mere speculation rather than what theory means in science, I would be objecting for the exact same motivation I have here.

  36. says

    “I’m not saying that guy’s not unstable.”

    If you want to do so I think that this:

    http://ronslog.typepad.com/ronslog/2013/01/rockford-illinois-man-forgets-to-use-his-indoor-voice.html

    might justify your doing so.

    “I wonder if he is cramming religion down their throats yet?”

    Apparently:

    “The only thing that came close to that was when the Kane County Civil Court ruled that I could no longer take my Children to church. I’ll admit that I ignored that ruling as the Bill of Rights and Constitution make it clear that government does not have power over religion. I am now able to “legally” take my Children to church.” (from the previously cited “ronslog”)

    His “Linked-in Page” has this:

    “Presidential Motorcade Driver

    U.S. Secret Service
    March 1988

    Served as motorcade driver during Vice President George H. W. Bush’s visit to Rockford, IL”

    And a LOT of other stuff that is meaningless.

    His facebook page has some very weird shit under “athletics” and his list of movies and the like is, um, fucked.

  37. sc_5b5039dd39eec895ccc71934d4e6783f says

    Scr… Archivist @ #13

    There was no need for him to contact Verteran groups. Their rights are just as well respected in the U.S. as they are on their homeworld.

    Laughed out loud. You win this thread

  38. dono says

    Our class had to write an essay about the Pledge of Allegiance in fourth grade. Don’t remember what I said about it, but I do know that when I put mine on the teacher’s desk, the kid who turned his in before me had titled it “The Pledge of the Legions.”

  39. Michael Heath says

    The Pledge of the Legions

    ROFL, largely because the other kid isn’t all that far off.

  40. seivadthe says

    Many times such certified “experts” would show intimate familiarity with Microsoft products, but no understanding of general principles or practices.

    Yup, thats pretty much how its taught. I did my MSCA within a IT Networking foundation degree (I think that is like the US asociates degree, not sure though) that threw in CCNA too. For the ‘practical’ exam, we had to set up a network using some old computers and Windows 2000, in 2007! That counts for the qualification.
    Current job is on a network that uses linux servers, rendering the qualification useless, but yet having it helped me get the job in the first place. So it goes.
    Current IT qualification/training setup is pretty messed up imo.

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