On September 11, students at Concord-Carlisle High School in Concord, Massachusetts had a different morning routine than usual. Instead of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance over the intercom, students were read the poem “My Grandmother Washes Her Feet in the Sink of the Bathroom at Sears,” a poem about an Islamic woman using the sink at a department store as a footbath in accordance with Muslim tradition.
While Principal Peter Badalament defended the poem, claiming the poem was intended to promote “cross-cultural understanding,” he also apologized for the omission of the Pledge of Allegiance, saying it was accidental.
"Yesterday was the first Wednesday of the school year; we were unaware that our student Pledge reader had an internship commitment on this day," Badalament said in the statement. "This was our responsibility to know. We humbly apologize that this oversight and communication gap occurred."
While there is nothing inherently wrong with “cross-cultural understanding,” the fact remains that Concord-Carlisle High School has approximately 180 school days that are not the anniversary of a terrorist attack committed by Muslims to promote “understanding.” Two of the four planes used in the attack originated in Boston, and one of the victims was a resident of Concord. The school’s actions were incredibly insensitive, and this mistake should not be repeated next year.