Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School Backpedals on Ditching the Pledge of Allegiance

By Faye Higbee

The Principal of the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School announced  that she was scrapping the Pledge of Allegiance in favor of doing a student-created “Wolf Pack Chant.” She felt that the chant would be more “inclusive.”

That didn’t last long. By Thursday, August 9, the decision was reversed after the possibility of losing funding was dropped in their lap.

On August 7, according to Fox, the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School stated that they were not going to recite the Pledge during the morning all school meeting, and instead, students would make their up own “wolf pack chant.”

How patriotic of them. Not. The school mascot for sports at the school is the wolf.

The school’s principal, Principal Lara Zelski, placed the announcment of the change on the school’s website, but it had not been brought up     at any meetings, even the Board of Directors knew nothing of the plan.

“Teachers and the K-5 leadership team will be working with students to create a school pledge that we can say together at morning meeting… …focus on students’ civic responsibility to their school, family, community, country and our global society.” Lara Zelski

Legislators and others who found out about the announcment via social media instantly took exception to it.

“I’m sure our House Education Committee will examine whether taxpayer funds should be used to instill such a divisive ideology in our students…If the school is going to accept public funding, then I think they have an obligation to, at least, have dialogue with the community.” Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R)

Within a day, the announcement was taken down from the school’s website and replaced:

“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 … 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 our all-school morning meeting.” Lia Santos

So was it just a misunderstanding? A “miscommunication?” Or  a liberal school covering its rear end at the thought of losing money?