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Tuesday April 23rd, 2019 2:12AM

Atlanta charter school returns to previous Pledge of Allegiance policy after controversy

By Alyson Shields Reporter

Following a controversy this week, a charter school in Atlanta is returning to its previous policy regarding the time of day when students recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
 
The Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, located in Grant Park, had a policy in the past of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at its all-school morning meeting, This year, the pledge was moved from the morning school routine to the classroom. 

"This change was done in compliance with state law [O.C.G.A. 20-2-310 (c)(1)] and aligned Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School with most other schools in the state who also say the Pledge of Allegiance in individual classrooms. However, it appears there was some miscommunication and inconsistency in the rollout,"  Lia Santos, Board Chair of the ANCS Governing Board, wrote in a statement on the school website.
 
The statement read the school will return to the original format next week.
 
"At ANCS, our priority is to provide our students with a safe and dynamic learning environment where they cultivate a love for learning, develop self-knowledge, and are constantly challenged to excel. We support our students in their growth and see it as our duty as educators to respect their First Amendment rights," the statement continued.
 
You can read the full statement here.

The school was a target of widespread criticism after news reports indicated the school's elementary campus president Lara Zelski told parents it had become "increasingly obvious'' during the past couple of years that more people were choosing not to stand or recite the pledge. School officials had indicated students would participate in what they called the school's Wolf Pack Chant each morning. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story. 

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