A radio station in Houston has posted on its website two video clips of a Texas elementary school “diversity” assembly where a volunteer leads students in saying a pledge of allegiance to the Mexican flag.
Station KTRH has posted both a video clip showing elementary students cheering and waving Mexican flags, and a separate clip showing people the school described as volunteers leading students in the pledge in Spanish.
The story by Scott Braddock of KTRH notes that “whether students also recited the Mexican pledge remains a point of contention,” however the audio clearly indicates that students are reciting the pledge along with the volunteer leader, because their voices can be heard finishing the final phrase well after the volunteer has finished.
As WND reported at the time, the event outraged parents and the principal at Velasco Elementary School said it was a “diversity” effort, but he would not do it again.
KTRH, which broke the story when the assembly was held a month ago, said it obtained the video from the school district under Texas open records laws.
On that station a month ago, callers were outraged.
“We absolutely refuse to stand up and pledge allegiance to another country’s flag,” a mother whose daughter attends the school told talk show host Chris Baker on AM 740 radio. “Where is the sensitivity to the country and to the troops and the men and women that have fought and died for this country?”
Several parents also told KTRH News students were joining in the pledge, but district officials said they did not.
District officials said the assembly was meant to teach children about Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on Sept. 16 to mark the day Mexico gained independence from Spain.
Longtime Velasco Principal Sam Williams said in hindsight he should have done things differently and apologized to those who were offended.
“As stated previously, and again verified with the campus administration this morning (Tuesday), the students did not say the Mexican pledge,” school spokesman Stuart Dornburg told KTRH.
Those who watch the video will be able to judge for themselves.
A parent of a third-grader who wished to remain anonymous told the station that he was at the assembly and students were saying the pledge.
“I was telling them you don’t have to stand for the pledge of allegiance to the Mexican flag,” he told the station.
“That’s treason … you’re not supposed to say the pledge of allegiance to any flag other than the American and Texas flags,” the father said. “It broke my heart to see the kids doing that.”
The earlier exchange between Baker, the talk show host, and a mother who identified herself as Amy reported school officials handed out Mexican flags and then the “volunteer” led the pledge.
Dornburg noted that Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month and the assembly at the Clute school was planned by the Brazosport Independent School District as part of its cultural education and to show that the district values and respects diversity.
But Amy said she got “glares” when she didn’t participate and when she “proudly” put the Mexican flag on the ground.
She said her husband was in Vietnam for three tours of duty, and she has a son in the war now.
In a report in The Facts, Williams said the response to his action was “overwhelming.”
“It’s been a real trying ordeal and all I can say is I deeply apologize if anyone was offended by it – and I can see that they are,” the principal said
Officials say there are 635 students from preschool age to fourth grade in Velasco, and about two-thirds are Hispanic.
Baker said the recitation was especially offensive since the U.S. is in the middle of a serious dispute over illegal immigration and the huge ramifications the nation faces from not having a secured border with Mexico.
“To blow it off as quote-unquote ‘historical teaching methods’ either shows complete arrogance or a lack of the ability to grasp the seriousness of the illegal immigration issue to Americans,” told his listeners.
On a weblog, a fan identified as El Jefe Maximo said, “What’s needed is a dose of nationalism, with a pinch of religion, and I’d throw in a dash of evil old imperialism as well.”