The Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School decided this week that the pledge of allegiance would no longer be part of their morning meetings. Instead, parents and students would be encouraged to say a new "Wolf Pack" chant. It would be an allusion to their school mascot and an attempt to be more inclusive, helping them promote "school family, community, country, and our global society."
“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,” the school’s elementary campus president, Lara Zelski, said in the original press release.
The backlash from the community, and social media, was strong and swift.
So, a Wolf Pack chant **replaces** Our Pledge of Allegiance— CHARLES WESLEY (@TX_Soldier254) August 9, 2018
Wow, I guess Our American Flag is next!https://t.co/Dkb9QanJ6a
So, citing “some miscommunication and inconsistency in the rollout," the ANCS has reversed course and is returning to its "original format." Governing Board Chair Lia Santos released the following statement:
Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School has and will continue to provide students with an opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each school day. In the past, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited during our all-school morning meeting, but at the start of the school year, the daily practice was moved to classrooms. This change was done in compliance with state law [O.C.G.A. 20-2-310 (c)(1)] and aligned Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School with most other schools in the state who also say the Pledge of Allegiance in individual classrooms. However, it appears there was some miscommunication and inconsistency in the rollout. Starting next week, we will return to our original format and provide our students with the opportunity to recite the Pledge during the all-school morning meeting.
At ANCS, our priority is to provide our students with a safe and dynamic learning environment where they cultivate a love for learning, develop self-knowledge, and are constantly challenged to excel. We support our students in their growth and see it as our duty as educators to respect their First Amendment rights.
We are working together with the school administration to ensure we address concerns and feedback from our school family, while continuing to uphold and support the rights of every member of our school community.
To quote an old article of mine, don't mess with the pledge.