NYC School to Say Pledge After Parents Complain

"I was shocked that she didn't know the pledge," said the father of an 8-year-old student.

Friday, Mar 25, 2011  |  Updated 11:58 AM EDT
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A Brooklyn elementary school that wasn't having students recite the Pledge of Allegiance will change course after a child's parents realized she didn't know the oath.

City and state rules mandate the pledge in public schools, but many school in the nation's largest school system ignore the law, according to the Daily News.

Public School 29 in Cobble Hill was one of those.

Joe and Winnie Fischer's daughter, Brianna, saw a class saying the pledge on a television show and asked what they were doing.

"I was shocked that she didn't know the pledge," said the 8-year-old's father. "I thought she'd been doing it in school."

The couple met with the principal, Melanie Woods. After some spirited meetings with teachers and parents, the principal agreed to have the pledge broadcast over the public address system, according to the News.

Students can't be forced to recite it or stand while it's being said.

Woods said administrators don't want children to feel uncomfortable if they choose not to say the pledge.

Some parents at the school said they weren't thrilled about the pledge coming back.

"One of the best things about New York City is the diversity, and I think having the pledge in school could make kids from other countries unsure of their place here," Ana Cecelia, a parent of a kindergartner, told the paper.

New York City schools -- the largest public system in the nation -- last visited the pledge controversy after the Sept. 11 attacks, when elected officials discovered many schools were not saying it every day.

The Board of Education passed a resolution in October 2001 intended to reinforce the state law. But in the years since, many schools have stopped bothering with it.

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