Arabic Version Of Pledge Of Allegiance At Pine Bush High School Ignites Furor

How would you feel about reciting the Pledge of Allegiance here in America in Arabic? According to sources in 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.

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