To celebrate Foreign Language Week, Pine Bush High School has read the Pledge of Allegiance in a different language each day, but when Arabic was used, it ignited a firestorm.
The reaction was swift — teachers in classrooms at the New York high school had to move fast to quell the outbursts as students tried to drown out the recitation. It didn’t stop there, as kids took to Twitter to sound off, and later that afternoon, the principal apologized via building-wide announcement, which of course just angered those who were in support of Foreign Language Week.
What seemed to be a simple celebration of different languages has instead torn the small town apart, and it now reaches far beyond its borders. A quick look through Twitter shows tweets from both sides… there are those who support the languages used:
Pledging allegiance to your country means the same thing regardless of the language you recite it in. #PineBush
— Sarah Yusufi (@sarah_yusufi) March 20, 2015
And those who thought it was super un-American:
🇺🇸 you blew it pine bush
— Captain (@CoreyMcCauley3) March 18, 2015
Way to not celebrate diversity, Pine Bush. Some of the comments I’ve read embarrass me, and I don’t live anywhere near New York. Referring to the student body president, whose idea it was to incorporate world languages into the week, one commenter wrote, “Hopefully Zink will be killed in a ‘tragic’ accident before he is eligible to vote.” Another says, “The principal and superintendent should tender their resignations or be fired for permitting this outrage. Disrespects all those that have died defending this country.”
It astounds me that people think this is some sort of Islamic indoctrination. What this outrage says is that it’s OK to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in other languages unless it’s Arabic, yet when Arabic is used, the Pledge should only be recited in English. If that doesn’t make sense to you, then you can see why it doesn’t make sense to me.
All languages are valid and spoken by real people, even people in America. Raising a stink because a language you don’t like was used just makes you look petty, backward and silly. We’re better than that.