(PINE BUSH, N.Y.) — An exercise meant to celebrate diversity at a school in Pine Bush, New York, has instead created a storm of controversy after the Pledge of Allegiance was recited in Arabic earlier this week.
Some students at Pine Bush High School refused to participate while family members who learned of the incident afterwards complained that administrators showed insensitivity to those who lost relatives in the war in Afghanistan.
One protester scrawled the followed on the back window of their car, “WE LIVE IN AMERICA SPEAK ENGLISH.”
The school explained that the pledge recited by an Arabic-speaking student was part of Foreign Language Week and that it would be said in other languages as well.
However, now administrators are apologizing to anyone who was offended, which included some Jewish parents, and will henceforth follow state guidelines requiring that the pledge only be recited in English.
Hoping to smooth over things, the Arab-American Association of New York is offering the Pine Bush School District assistance with cultural relations.
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