Maryland Teen Protests After Pledge Recited in Foreign Languages at School

AP, Mar. 10

MILLERSVILLE, Md.—A ninth-grader is protesting his school’s decision to broadcast the Pledge of Allegiance in foreign languages as part of National Foreign Language Week.

Patrick Linton said he and other students at Old Mill High School sat down rather than stand Wednesday when the Pledge was read over the school’s public address system in Russian. Linton’s teacher told him if he had a problem he should leave the room.

He did, and did not plan to return this week.

“This is America, and we got soldiers at war,” the 15-year-old said. “When you’re saying the Pledge in a different language which nobody understands, that’s not OK.”

Charles Linton, Patrick’s father, said the use of other languages is disrespectful to the country. “It’s like wearing a cross upside down in a church,” he said.

The pledge was to be read in Spanish, French, Latin, Russian and German. School officials said the activity will continue, with the English version of the Pledge being read first for the rest of the week.

“This is just a way to connect what’s going on in the classroom and this daily activity where we say the Pledge of Allegiance,” said Jonathan Brice, a spokesman for Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

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