School's Foreign-language pledge draws protest

Aurolyn Luykx aurolynluykx at
Fri Mar 11 22:07:08 UTC 2005

Mr. Linton sounds like he's from the "if English was
good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me" school
of thought.

--- "Harold F. Schiffman"
<haroldfs at> wrote:

> >From the Annapolis Capital,
> School's foreign language Pledge draws protest
> By RYAN BAGWELL, Staff Writer
> Monday it was Spanish. Tuesday it was French.
> Yesterday it was Russian,
> and this morning it was Korean. At Old Mill High
> School, the morning
> Pledge of Allegiance was recited over the public
> address system in foreign
> languages each day this week. To Charles Linton,
> that's just plain
> un-American.
> "I ain't gonna stand up and pledge my allegiance to
> the United States in
> any foreign language," said a furious Mr. Linton,
> who pulled his
> ninth-grade son, Patrick, out of class this morning.
> The practice
> celebrates National Foreign Language week, Old Mill
> Assistant Principal
> Mary Lappe said, and has been done at the school for
> years.
> But Mr. Linton called it an unpatriotic display. He
> won't send Patrick
> back to school until Monday, unless the school
> restores the pledge to
> English. "We got people in a war right now," said
> Patrick, 15. "It's not
> right." School officials said reciting the Pledge in
> foreign tongues will
> continue as planned this week.
> "I think it's a good-faith effort on the part of the
> school to recognize
> the diversity of the student body," said Kenneth P.
> Lawson, school system
> deputy superintendent. "I don't necessarily think
> it's a bad thing." Board
> of Education policy expressly says the Pledge should
> be recited each
> morning, with teachers and students standing to face
> the flag. The policy
> explicitly says it should be recited in English.
> "I think if they took this action on a regular and
> routine basis we'd
> probably want to take a look at the policy, but
> since it's only happening
> for a week, I don't think that violates the spirit
> of the policy," Mr.
> Lawson said. Mr. Linton disagreed, saying it's an
> offensive practice that
> should be halted immediately.
> "I compare it with wearing a cross to church upside
> down," he said.
> Patrick's unease apparently caught on during
> yesterday's Pledge. "I sat
> down, and when I sat down, one other kid sat down,
> and I looked behind me
> and three other kids sat down," Patrick said.
> Board policy says students and teachers can excuse
> themselves from
> participation in the morning flag salute. But it
> also states, "any
> individual who commits an act of disrespect, either
> by word or action, is
> in violation of the intent of this section." Mr.
> Linton pledged to do
> whatever it takes to stop the foreign language
> observation of the Pledge
> before tomorrow's recitation.

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