A Democratic school board chairman in Connecticut has walked away from the board rather than begin each meeting by saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
New Hartford School Board Chairman Josh Adams resigned last week after the board voted to begin each meeting with the Pledge, Patch reported.
Adams was the only board member opposing the Pledge, the Waterbury Republican-American reported.
Board member Tom Buzzi, a Republican, had promoted the new policy because he felt that the board had become divided over issues related to closing a school, and he wanted to do something to create a sense of unity as each meeting began.
Buzzi said he wanted everyone to be “on the same page” and never expected the proposal would be controversial.
After Buzzi made his proposal, Adams tried to shut it down by saying that as board chairman, he was the only one to determine the agenda. The rest of the board did not see things that way, and went ahead with its vote, prompting Adams to quit.
Adams later said he does not pledge allegiance to anything and supports the “principles on which the country was founded.”
Don't let the door hit you in the rear. https://t.co/Le6W8Upud5
— Tom Gresham (@Guntalk) August 27, 2018
He said he should not be forced to publicly voice support for the ideals of the pledge, The Associated Press reported.
Adams later said that he had not planned to resign but felt it was appropriate after the board took the vote.
Hey Josh Adams if you don’t like the Pledge of Allegiance to this great Nation nothing is holding you back from leaving this great country, try out Venezuela or Cuba https://t.co/1HAaIphU0y
— Karl (@foodie_lv) August 28, 2018
The Pledge of Allegiance has been a hot-button issue in other places as well.
Last month, an Atlanta charter school sought to move the pledge from its morning schoolwide assembly into a classroom-only part of the day, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“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. 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,” principal Lara Zelski said.
Zelski said the school wanted a schoolwide pledge that reflected its demographics.
The concept ran into headwinds and was abandoned almost immediately.
Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, for example, said, “I’m sure our House Education Committee will examine whether taxpayer funds should be used to instill such a divisive ideology in our students.”
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