- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 9, 2018

An Atlanta charter school is dropping its morning recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance as an effort to be more inclusive for all students.

Lara Zelski, principal of Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School’s elementary campus, announced the change in a letter to parents Tuesday, saying she was getting rid of the morning pledge ritual in favor of a so-called “Wolf Pack Chant.”

“One change that we made to our morning meeting agenda this year is that we will not be including the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance each morning,” she wrote. “Students will continue to lead the meeting by asking our community to stand to participate in our Wolf Pack Chant together. Students will also be given the opportunity to say the pledge at another point during the school day within their classroom.”

Ms. Zelski explained that the decision to nix the pledge was made “in an effort to begin our day as a fully inclusive and connected community.

“Over the past couple of years it has become increasingly obvious that more and more of our community were choosing to not stand and/or recite the pledge,” she said. “There are many emotions around this and we want everyone in our school family to start their day in a positive manner. After all, that is the whole purpose of our morning meeting.”

Ms. Zelski said teachers would be working with students over the next few months to create they’re own school pledge, or “Wolf Pack Chant,” that will focus on “students’ civic responsibility to their school family, community, country and our global society.”

Following backlash for the decision, Lia Santos, who sits on the school’s governing board, explained to a local NBC affiliate that the pledge would still be recited in individual classrooms, but not recited through the loudspeakers.

She said officials were now willing to reconsider the move “due to the feedback from parents and the community.”


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