An Atlanta charter school has placed the school chant before the Pledge of Allegiance when it comes to daily rituals.
The teachers of the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School will reportedly put higher priority on other tasks, according to a letter put out by Elementary Campus Principal Lara Zelski.
“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,” Zelski said in a letter to parents, intercepted by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. 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.”
Zelski defended the action, claiming many members of the community have no interest in standing or reciting the pledge.
“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,” she noted. “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.”
The leadership team is allegedly working on a school pledge “that we can say together at morning meeting. This pledge will focus on students’ civic responsibility to their school family, community, country and our global society.”
In nearby Clayton County, the pledge isn’t mandatory, but it also hasn’t been done away with.
“Students are offered the opportunity to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. If they choose to participate or not is their individual and constitutional right and the reason the flag of the United States of America exists,” said Clayton County Superintendent of Schools Morcease J. Beasley. “Anything that removes their right to choose to participate as their conscience dictates, in my opinion, is un-American and immoral.”
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