Darla Dawald of Patriot Action Network reports, March 30, 2012, that a teacher at Arizona’s Maricopa High School mocked a female student for standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance.
The student’s dad, Greg, posted the incident on Facebook. This is what he wrote:
So if your kids go to school at Maricopa High do they stand for the Pledge? I think you might be surprised. My daughter is the only one in her class to stand and the teacher joined in with the class to mock her about it. I am so angry right now!!!!
I am so upset about it. The teacher then asked her to stay after class to talk about it and it embarrassed her even more. She wrote her feelings, her precious heart could not say what she felt, and she hated the feeling of the class and now he wants to try to take her to the counselor to ‘talk’ about it.
I am very proud of my daughters. They have had many experiences to be one of the few or the only one to stand in many situations for honorable values and standards.
Please join me in calling Maricopa High School at (520)568-5100 to let them know what you think. Remember to be courteous and polite but firm. The Teachers name is Mr. Almond.
I went onto Maricopa High School’s website. Here’s contact info for the school:
- Address: 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave., Maricopa, AZ 85139
- Phone: (520) 568-8100
- Fax: (520) 568-8119
The school’s principal is June Celaya, (520) 568-8100 ext. 4017, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I cannot find a Mr. Almond among the school’s staff, but there is a male teacher named Charles Allman, (520) 568-8100 ext. 4087, e-mail: email@example.com.
The Superintendent is Jeff Kleck. You may send emails to the Governing Board which is made up of 5 community members who “work hard to ensure that the children in our community receive the best educational opportunities possible” by clicking on this link: https://maricopa.cyberschool.com/District/Department/1-Governing-Board
Less than an hour after I posted this, Fellowship of the Minds received an e-mail from a public relations firm on behalf of Maricopa High School, containing a statement from the school’s principal:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 30, 2012
(Maricopa, Ariz.) – Following is statement from June Celaya, principal of Maricopa High School, regarding a student who recently observed the pledge of allegiance.
“On Wednesday, March 28, 2012, a student stood to take part in observing the pledge of allegiance, while others in the classroom chose to remain seated – a right, and a choice, given to every student per our MUSD School Board Policy regarding ceremonies and observances. Those who choose not to participate are expected to observe the courtesy of not disturbing others.
Unfortunately the student who stood to observe this patriotic right, returned to her seat prior to finishing the pledge and indicated that she felt mocked and embarrassed by other students in the room via written communication to the teacher, Mr. Charles Allman. Mr. Allman then asked to speak to the student privately to clarify her concerns. Upon determining her feelings, Mr. Allman followed protocol and reported the incident to the counselor, with whom the student was given the option to speak. It was Mr. Allman’s first priority to ensure the student felt safe in her learning environment, which is truly a second home for all students.
Maricopa High School, and the entire District, cultivate a supportive learning environment and a community in which our students, staff and parents feel safe. It was Mr. Allman’s first and only concern to ensure the student in question did not feel embarrassed or hurt in any way, by practicing in this patriotic observance, which is a point of pride for our great nation and those who serve the country to sustain our freedom.”
— June Celaya, Principal of Maricopa High School
For more information on the Maricopa Unified School District visit www.maricopausd.org or call (520) 568-5100.
CONTACT: KENDRA D. SCHULTZ
You can also read MHS’s Pledge of Allegiance Statement in PDF format, here.
Update (March 31):
Last night, this post attracted a flood of comments by individuals claiming to be Maricopa High students and parents, all defending Allman as “an exceptional teacher.”
According to Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 4, of the U.S. Code, the Pledge “should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present and not in uniform may render the military salute. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.”
If Mr. Allman is such “an exceptional teacher,” why did he not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance? Not only is that the proper etiquette, when he saw that out of an entire class of students, only one student (Greg’s daughter) stood up, as the teacher he should have stood up himself, as well as urge the other students also to stand — if only to spare the girl embarrassment. I was a teacher — a university professor — for 25+ years. I would have done that, for the sake of the girl, even if I didn’t believe in standing at attention for the Pledge.
By allowing a situation in his classroom where a lone student stood alone for the Pledge, this “exceptional teacher” not only was insensitive to the feelings of one of his students, he also set a very poor example to the other students by violating the U.S. Code.