School Allows Kids to Recite 'Pledge of Allegiance' In Every Language But Arabic

A high school in Pine Bush, New York, had an opportunity to teach teens about tolerance and respect—but its administrators totally blew it by caving to the demands of misinformed children, their parents, and other district residents. As part of Pine Bush High School's Foreign Language week, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited over the loudspeaker Wednesday morning in Arabic, which sparked fury among many students and parents.

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The school came up with the idea to allow students to recite the pledge in different languages throughout the week, in an effort to increase appreciation for cultural diversity. It isn't clear how far they were able to take things because their plan backfired after an Arab-American student read the words in Arabic over a loudspeaker.

Several students and members of the community voiced their anger over social media, with many expressing more or less the same sentiment as this one:

 

Some students outright refused to participate in the school's diversity week and argued that they believed the Arabic recitation was disrespectful to the members of the military who are fighting overseas.

So, how did Pine Bush High School respond? Did administrators use this as an opportunity to remind students and residents that there is a major difference between Islamic terrorists and Arab-Americans who abhor what is going on in countries like Syria and Afghanistan?

No. The district apologized instead, which is pretty much a slap in the face to Arab students and all others who believe it is wrong to demonize an entire group of people based on the horrific actions of relatively few people.

More from The Stir: Teacher Forces Student to Recite the 'Pledge of Allegiance' Even Though It's Against His Religion

I understand Americans have lost their lives fighting in the Middle East, but our military is bravely defending the rights and freedoms of people who include Arab-Americans. As far as I know, the Pledge of Allegiance belongs to ALL Americans and neither teens nor adults should get to decide who has the right to recite it in their own language.

Now, on the other hand, I feel an argument could be made that the Pledge should only ever be said in English. I don't agree with that argument, but at the very least it isn't discriminating against one specific group of people, but rather defending the notion that all American citizens should speak English.

What happened in Pine Bush—which the school district more or less validated by apologizing—was an example of adults doing the complete opposite of standing up for what's difficult but right, which sets a poor example for young people who need guidance. With one simple apology, these teens have been taught that it's okay to feel fear and hatred toward an entire group of people based on the language they speak.

Do you think this school should have apologized?

 

Image via Marc Engelbrecht/Flickr

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