Letters to the Editor

Pledge of Allegiance

Dear Editor,

          I am writing with concerns for the inner workings of the D49 Cultural Leadership Advisory Council (CLAC). Originally named The Equity Leadership Advisory Council (ELAC) it was founded in February 2020 by Superintendent P. Hilts and Operations Officer Dr. Louis Fletcher.

           The ELAC’s name was changed to CLAC in 2021. On Sept. 9, 2021, the D49 BOE recognized the CLAC as an official council. Since the ELAC/CLAC’s founding it has not provided any recommendations to the BOE.  Unconscionably, the only note worthy work the CLAC has done that affects the district was to deny reciting the pledge of allegiance at CLAC meetings.

          During the CLAC meeting on May 18, 2023, a motion was made to include the pledge of allegiance in the agenda. The motion was voted down 14-2. There was no discussion of a compromise. I was understandably confused, bewildered and flabbergasted as to why a district with so many military active duty and retired residents and their families would have a council that would vote not to recite the pledge of allegiance. Ironically Patriot High is used by American Legion Post 2008 for meetings. It is even more puzzling that the CLAC members that voted no are teachers from the district, military spouses, retired military members and a senior officer in the PTA. It is bewildering that all of these individuals are educated and should be aware that no one can be forced to recite the pledge of allegiance. In other words they could sit out the pledge if they choose but instead they chose to control the voices of others. The reasons for rejecting the pledge as documented in meeting minutes are:

■ The Pledge doesn’t happen in other meetings.

■ Could cause anxiety – forced to recite.

■ Could cause division

■ CLAC Members are wondering how this got on the agenda? EMAIL REQUEST – JEFF HALL

■ Many CLAC members mentioned that this is not needed and don’t need to use time to do the Pledge.

■ Need time to accomplish other items.

          It is unconscionable that some D49 CLAC members who are retired military, dependents, key district adults, teachers and community members put feelings and political beliefs above paying respect to America by denying patriotic veterans and community members the 13 seconds it takes to recite the pledge of allegiance.

Jeff Hall


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