by John Hawkins | September 21, 2006 2:00 am
This is an appalling story on so many different levels:
“Velasco Elementary School’s principal said he has been taken aback by a controversy that has arisen from his campus’ Mexican Independence Day celebration, and he apologizes for offending parents.
During a short school assembly Friday, several parent volunteers read a pledge of allegiance to the Mexican flag. Since a parent complained on the Chris Baker show on NewsRadio 740 KTRH that afternoon, the issue has become a focal point of some Houston talk radio shows.
…At about 10 a.m. Friday, students and parents gathered in the gym for an assembly commemorating Diez y Seis de Septiembre, Sept. 16, when Mexico celebrates its independence from Spain. The school’s bilingual classes from different grade levels performed songs, Williams said.Everyone was given a small Mexican flag and a group of six or seven parents recited the pledge from a script, Williams said. The students did not recite it, he said.
“My students don’t even know the Mexican pledge,” Williams said. “In the minds of my little kids here at the elementary school … they were simply holding a flag.”
He said the audience did stand as a sign of respect because that is the custom with which students are familiar.
“What we normally do is we stand for any pledge that’s given,” he said. “They can only relate to the U.S. pledge and the Texas pledge.”
This seems so obvious that it shouldn’t have to be said, but apparently some people need to be reminded that this isn’t Mexico.
Let me repeat that: this is not Mexico.
Sept. 16th isn’t a holiday here and quite frankly, the fact that Mexico became independent from Spain on that date shouldn’t be a cause for celebration for any American student. Moreover, American children shouldn’t be asked to hold a foreign flag, nor should the recitation of a pledge of allegiance to a foreign power be part of an event at a school.
We certainly shouldn’t expect Mexican school children to celebrate the 4th of July and similarly, no American school children should be attending a “Mexican Independence Day celebration,” at an elementary school.
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