San Francisco School Board President Cancels Pledge of Allegiance, Replaces it With Maya Angelou Poem

A black San Francisco school board president has eliminated the Pledge of Allegiance for his meetings and replaced it with a Maya Angelou poem, reports say.

The board chief, Steven Cook, gave the facile explanation that the reason he did it is because of President Donal Trump. He replaced the Pledge with the poem, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”

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Cook told The Chronicle he chose not to enforce the pledge because of his disappointment with the political climate. He said the Trump administration “has been attacking our liberties.”

The Pledge of Allegiance, while required by state education code, is rarely enforced by schools, district officials said. District spokesman Gentle Blythe said it is not required for school boards.

“If you ask 10 Americans who wrote it, or when it was implemented, or why it is how we start our meetings, a lot of us would be hard pressed (to answer),” Cook said.

“There are a lot of ways to express gratitude and appreciation for the country and its citizens. This is how I plan to do that,” Cook reportedly said.

Cook added:

“Although there is a requirement that schools conduct a pledge or similar activity, there is no such requirement for school boards,” said district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe.

Not all public bodies recite the pledge before meetings, but many — if not most — do.

In some communities, the pledge has caused significant controversy. In New Paltz, N.Y., the planning board voted in 2016 to eliminate the ritual at meetings. The board chairman in New Hartford, Conn., resigned in protest after the school board voted in August to require the Pledge of Allegiance at meetings.

In San Francisco, the Pledge of Allegiance has for decades been the first order of business at school board meetings after roll call, although it hasn’t officially appeared on the agenda.

The anti-American school board chief also refused to compare himself to former NFL player Colin Kaepernick who invented the anti-American protest during the playing of the national anthem.

“I’m no Colin Kaepernick. I’m Steven Cook,” he said.

All I can say is that when conservatives don’t like a president they still don’t go around canceling the pledge, burning the flag, and attacking the country.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston has been writing editorials and news since 2001 but started his writing career penning articles about U.S. history back in the early 1990s. Huston has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and several local Chicago News programs to discuss the issues of the day. Additionally, he is a regular guest on radio programs from coast to coast. Huston has also been a Breitbart News contributor since 2009. Warner works out of the Chicago area, a place he calls a "target rich environment" for political news.

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