A small town is divided after its local high school included a recital of the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic on Wednesday.
When the Pine Bush High School decided to honor national foreign language week by ordering the recital in Arabic, it meant no harm or offense.
Nevertheless, the move did bring a lot of criticism of the school which ended up issuing an official apology to the people it offended.
During the recital, some students sat down to protest, while others expressed their outrage in class.
At the same time, other students and their parents had no issue at all with the Pledge being recited in Arabic, as senior Broderick Reilly said, “We’re all Americans we came here as immigrants, we all spoke different languages. I think today we should still be able to speak different languages and praise our country in some way.”
Until the uproar arose on Wednesday, the school had planned to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in a different language on each day of the week, which seems on the surface to be the perfect way to honor national foreign language week.
Nevertheless, for some people, it wasn’t the Arabic that was the issue, rather just that the Pledge was not recited in English.
As Alex Krug, a student from the school, said to reporters, “It’s the pledge of allegiance, we’re saying it to the American flag. I think it should be said in English. It is foreign language week but we don’t even offer Arabic in Pine Bush High School.”
Due to the offense caused, the school felt obliged to apologize, as it wrote on the website, “The intention was to promote the fact that those who speak a language other than English still pledge to salute this great country. We sincerely apologize to any students, staff or community members who found this activity offensive.”
One parent said, “I think its an outrage. I believe everybody should respect one another and there’s nothing wrong with teaching the children different languages,” said Helene Morrow.