Will school district 'take a knee' for national anthem? - Must Read Alaska
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Will school district ‘take a knee’ for national anthem?

BOARD TO CONSIDER SCHOOLS PLAYING ‘STAR SPANGLED BANNER’ ONCE A WEEK

At Monday (March 4) night’s Anchorage School Board meeting, the board will take up the question of whether the National Anthem and the Alaska Flag Song should be played once a week in all schools. As in, played over the broadcast system in the schools.

Currently only four Anchorage schools do so — and they happen to be the top-ranked schools.

[Watch 7-year-old Maia Emma sing the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key before a Seattle Sounders-Galaxy match last September:

The existing Anchorage School District policy is to promote and teach patriotism, such as reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and “other patriotic activities” as identified by the board. But the board has never quite identified what those other patriotic activities are.

Board member Dave Donley says it’s time for the district to stop taking a knee for the National Anthem.

The board has held three governance committee meetings that dealt with Donley’s proposal. A survey of all the schools found that some were not even reciting the Pledge, as required, and the majority never played the National Anthem. Therefore, children are not learning it, nor are they learning the Alaska Flag Song.

The question will appear at the meeting as Memorandum 120, and public testimony will be heard, likely around 7:30 pm (meeting starts at 7 pm). The board meets in the Anchorage Education Center, 5530 East Northern Lights Blvd.

Note: There has been strong opposition from some other board members. The item is on the agenda shortly after the recognition of “Music in the Schools Month.”

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Any board member that can’t relate to the USA as their country and hold up the commitment of the National Anthem and the State of Alaska Flag song needs to turn in their resignation.

    • Couldn’t agree more! I want them to put in blast, those that don’t feel the national anthem should be played, especially The Pledge!

    • Agree 100%

  • Two knees are better than one. They can face Mecca to the east while we kick their butts. The old gray farts have lots of knee issues.
    Dreams of Medicaid expansion. Teachers union bosses ran off with union treasuries. Operation: broke knees.

  • Some local schools not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance! OMG, local school leadership has sunk so low. This may be a country of many ethnic groups BUT it is still AMERICA. In the name of ‘political correctness’, they strip away the honoring of our country! Shame on them.

    • …and In the name of globalism – which NEA supports, at least by their actions. ‘Down with the elitist USA’ – it better serves their true long term goals to slowly and quietly quash patriotism. Good for Mr. Donley to shine light on this.

  • Start every day with a song. That was my forth grade in Eagle River Elementary. We did the national Anthem, America the beautiful , Alaska’s Flag and more. The words were handwritten by my teacher on a large poster. We started every day with a song. It helped clear our mind, it was reading practice and memorization. Thank You Mrs Koslosky .

  • Perhaps if they choose to take a knee for the National Anthem, they should also be prepared to take a knee to the proverbial crotch from the taxpayers.

  • Go on. Get down on your knees like a rat eating cheese…

  • On what basis could any school board member be opposed to a weekly show of respect for our country? If they can’t be bothered to have the students show some respect for this country, even once a week, then don’t expect voters to approve any school bonds. Being a citizen of the USA is a privilege and it should not be taken lightly.

  • Does the U.N. have a anthem?

  • School is for learning.
    Not indoctrination of patriotism aka “measles of mankind” as Einstein put it.

    • Joe, you sir are exactly what’s wrong in this country!

      • a country running a capitalist pyramid scheme to funnel money to the few while impoverishing laborers that produce the wealth.

        And me, being against teaching kids to be proud of the fact that they did nothing except be born in a particular geographical area, am what’s wrong with the country? LOL

      • Yeah John, if everyone that thinks schools should focus on education disappeared then the country would be so much better off.

        God damn I hope I don’t have nightmares of your dystopia tonight

  • My kid is in Kincaid and she’s getting all 100% grades on each weeks subjects. Her class is full of happy kids and she comes home and mumbles the pledge and state flag song both liken it was normal. I figured all kids were doing excellent at all schools and they all did the pledge. Now I am reading the top tier 4 schools take this time to recite the pledge. Perhaps this is a sign that Kincaid rocks.

  • One more reason to reduce their funding! They are charged with educating our children with at least the basics and the basics include reading, writing, math, science, and social studies, i.e. citizenship-saying the pledge while standing properly and knowing the words to the national anthem and the state song. They have already demonstrated via multiple testing opportunities that they have not been successful at the rest of the basics and now this. The funding must be reduced until it forces them to rethink their priorities!

  • ASD employees and board do have time for patriotism and they don’t have time for high achievement. They are spending their time with our money on high callings and the results speak for themselves.
    ASD is a complete mess. It is an emergency situation that no one seems to care about.

  • Of course the four schools playing or singing the National Anthem are top ranked. They likely are teaching, besides patriotism, values, ethics, responsibility. work ethic, goal setting, generosity, History – to mention a few of the important tenets and topics our great nation was built upon.

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