Furor erupts at high school over reading Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic

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What do you think about this? Doesn’t it go against the pledge to sing it in Arabic which is the language of Islam and a political ideology that in its purest form that doesn’t mix with freedom.

(Record Online) PINE BUSH – An effort to celebrate national Foreign Language Week by reading the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic Wednesday has polarized Pine Bush High School into angry factions.

The morning’s regularly scheduled announcements included the Arabic reading of the pledge. According to students, the announcement was greeted by catcalls and angry denunciations in classrooms throughout the school by students who felt the reading was inappropriate.

The reading became the subject of angry talk throughout the school and a cascade of tweets both from students who criticized the reading and those who supported it.

The controversy has “divided the school in half,” according to school Superintendent Joan Carbone. She described the reading as “something that was supposed to be good but turned out not to be.”

Early Wednesday afternoon, high school Principal Aaron Hopmayer made a building-wide announcement explaining the reading’s context and apologizing to students who took offense.

The apology appears to have done little to quell the situation; it may, in fact, have fueled resentment from students who feel the reading was appropriate.

Carbone said she had received complaints from district residents who had lost family members in Afghanistan and from Jewish parents who were equally outraged by the reading.

Pine Bush is no stranger to controversy. In 2013, Jewish parents sued the district and administrators in federal court, accusing them of being indifferent to chronic anti-Semitic behavior.

Carbone said she has learned that state Education Department regulations specifically say the Pledge of Allegiance should be read in English.

Students on both sides of the issue took to Twitter to voice their feelings. Said one, “People who don’t like PB should take a vacation. I hear the Middle East is nice this time a year?”

Another student tweeted, “The pledge should always be said in English. They could’ve just said “Good Morning” in a different language each day.”

A student who supported the reading, senior Miranda Monroe, said she felt it was “wrong to discriminate – the whole thing is wrong.”

Andrew Zink, president of the student assembly and senior class president, ordinarily reads the morning announcements. When he was asked to allow the reading to take place in Arabic, he agreed, but added in a telephone interview later, “I knew exactly what would happen.”

“I knew many wouldn’t support it,” he said.

Nevertheless, Zink said he’d do it again, “Because it’s the right thing to do.”

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—Courtesy of Record Online

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