Tuesday, April 29, 2008


In what has sadly become an ever more rare instance of good judgment by a school board*, Edgerton will continue to allow students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish a few times a year, despite some protest from the community. I wrote about this a few days ago, when the controversy first bubbled to the surface. I was heartened to read this article in todays' Capital Times (still publishing online, though now defunct in print):
After an emotional meeting of the Edgerton School Board, which attracted a crowd so large that the session had to be moved from the usual meeting room to the school cafeteria, board members voted unanimously to support the administration's experiment in bilingual patriotism.


The pledge is recited daily over the Edgerton High School's public address system, as is required by state law. Most days, the recitation is in English. But, at the request of students in a foreign-language class, a determination was made to allow an occasional repetition of the patriotic statement in Spanish.

That brought objections from some parents and from some older veterans in the community, who claimed that reciting the pledge in any language other than English was disrespectful of those who had served in the military in the past and are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As it turned out, not all veterans agreed.

One of the first speakers of the evening was Jennifer Malinski, an Edgerton High School Class of 1991 graduate who served eight years in the U.S. Army. Recalling that "every day I put on my uniform I worked shoulder to shoulder with dozens of Spanish-speaking soldiers," Malinski told the board, "I would not refuse these Spanish-speaking soldiers the right to say the pledge in whatever language came to their lips, and I hope to God that we don't do that here."

*This isn't an entirely fair statement. I suspect that the majority of school boards around the nation do good, solid, reasonable work. The ones that make it into the news, however, seem to be up to as much no good as they can muster, and it tends to taint my overall view of them.

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