Posted on August 10, 2018

In Atlanta: Pledge of Allegiance Is Out; “Wolfpack Chant” Is In

Minyvonne Burke, Daily Mail, August 9, 2018

Atlanta elementary school says it will no longer do the pledge of allegiance — but students WILL stand each morning for a ‘wolf pack chant’

Minyvonne Burke, Daily Mail, August 9, 2018

An Atlanta elementary school announced that students will no longer have to say the Pledge of Allegiance during morning meetings, and will instead recite a ‘Wolf Pack Chant’.

Lara Zelski, the principal of Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, said in a press release on Tuesday that it has become ‘increasingly obvious’ over the past years that more and more of the school community were not standing or reciting the pledge.

‘Students will continue to lead the meeting by asking our community to stand to participate in our wolf pack chant together,’ the school said.

Zelski said students who wish to recite the pledge can do so at another point during the school day in their classroom.

‘This decision was made in an effort to begin our day as a fully inclusive and connected community,’ she said. ‘There are many emotions around (the pledge) and we want everyone in our school family to start their day in a positive manner.’

School officials said teachers and a K-5 leadership team will work with students over the next few months to create a school pledge everyone can say in the morning.

‘This pledge will focus on students’ civic responsibility to their school family, community, country and our global society,’ Zelski said.

The Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, which uses the wolf as its mascot, opened in Grant Park in 2002 and serves kindergarten through fifth grade.

Controversy surrounding the pledge has been rampant in recent months after Colin Kaepernick and several other NFL players decided to take a knee on the field as it was recited.

In April, a Pennsylvania school changed its policy announcing that a student does not have to stand for the pledge because of their First Amendment rights.

‘Personally, I hope every student will stand for our flag,’ Bedford Area School District superintendent Allen Sell told WJAC.

‘But if they choose not to, that’s their First Amendment rights and we, as school leaders, have the responsibility to respect that.’

Last month, an 18-year-old student in Texas sued her high school after she was expelled for refusing to stand during the pledge.

India Landry told Fox32 that she doesn’t think the flag ‘represents what it stands for, liberty and justice for all’ and said administrators violated her rights for free speech when they kicked her out of the school.