2008-05-03 / Editorials & Letters

Pledge is alive & well at Millersport Elementary

Editor:

I would like to respond to the recent letters to the editor regarding the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in Millersport Elementary School.

First of all, let me say that the Walnut Township Local Board of Education wholeheartedly supports the practice of reciting the Pledge in all classrooms that make up the Millersport schools. We also support our local Veterans Day assembly, the 9-11 Parade sponsored by the Liebs Island Civic Association, and promote the singing, or playing, of the National Anthem at our athletic contests. I want to assure you that strong American and Patriotic pride remains alive and well in our school, as it always has and as it should always be.

An unfortunate verbal exchange took place a few weeks ago involving our elementary school principal and some parents while answering questions at a kindergarten screening session. It is understandable why some of those parents left the meeting assuming that we did no support the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance at our elementary school. For this, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to our parents, friends and neighbors for the misunderstanding and invite anyone who wishes to visit my officeto speak with me personally regarding their concerns. I would also like to express my appreciation to those community members who have taken the time to call me to address the incident on a more personal level.

We feel the matter has been cleared up internally and the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance will continue to be said on an even more regular basis. With all of the things that can, and at times do, go wrong in operating a school district, if we look hard enough we can findsome positive points and turn "lemons into lemonade."

On Friday, April 18, the building principal sent the following note home with every child enrolled at Millersport Elementary School.

Dear Parents,

Recent events and inquiries concerning the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance prompted me to write this letter. I want to know that I strongly encourage students and adults to grow in knowledge, respect and pride for our country and all that it stands for. Please know that we will continue to honor the Red, White and Blue with the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance within individual classrooms and collectively ever Friday, Which will be led by representatives from the 3rd grade. Sincerely, Cheryl Thomson, Principal

Again, I would like to express my sincere apologies to the community members who have taken offense to the recent events related to the Pledge of Allegiance. We pledge to do much better job of keeping "Old Glory" and all that it means in front of all of your children. Ron Thorton, Superintendent Walnut Township Local Schools

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