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School eliminates Pledge of Allegiance to begin day as ‘fully inclusive and connected community\

An Atlanta elementary school will no longer mandate the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance in order to kick off the day in a more inclusive way. (Image source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution video screenshot)

An Atlanta elementary school has eliminated the Pledge of Allegiance from the start of its school day.

The move was made in an effort to kick off the school day as a "fully inclusive and connected community," and the school also has plans to create a new pledge for the school.

What are the details?

Even though the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School won't require students to say the customary Pledge of Allegiance any longer, they will afford students the opportunity to do so later in the day if they want.

Instead of the traditional Pledge of Allegiance, a new — and apparently more suitable— pledge will be implemented for the students as the school year progresses.

Campus president Lara Zelski issued a letter Tuesday to parents to announce the changes to the students' morning meetings. A copy of the letter was published on the school's website.

"One change that we made to our morning meeting agenda this year is that we will not be including the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance each morning," Zelski wrote, adding that administrators will continue to ask the children to stand in participation of the school's "Wolf Pack Chant."

"Students will continue to lead the meeting by asking our community to stand to participate in our Wolf Pack Chant together," Zelski continued in her letter.

What was behind the decision to omit the Pledge of Allegiance?

Zelski's letter explained that the decision to omit the Pledge of Allegiance "was made in an effort to begin our day as a fully inclusive and connected community."

"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," Zelski wrote. "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."

Zelski wrote that teachers, as well as the K-5 leadership team, will collaborate with students in the coming months in order to create a more suitable school pledge for the morning meetings.

"This pledge," Zelski wrote, "will focus on students’ civic responsibility to their school family, community, country and our global society. I will keep you informed of the progress with this. I am really looking forward to what our students create."

You can read the full letter here.

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