San Francisco School Board Drops Pledge of Allegiance to ‘Protest Trump’
Liberal education board president drops PoA because Trump is 'attacking our liberties'
San Fransisco's new liberal school board president has decided to drop the Pledge of Allegiance from all official board engagements to "protest Trump."
The school board's president Stevon Cook broke protocol on Tuesday night by choosing to skip the Pledge of Allegiance before a meeting, declaring that President Trump's administration "has been attacking our liberties."
According to The San Francisco Chronicle, Cook instead recited a quote from the poet Maya Angelou: “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”
Speaking to The Chronicle, Cook said he chose not to enforce the pledge because he feels "disappointment" with the current political climate.
According to Fox News, 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.
The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Christian socialist minister.
In the mid-1950s, President Dwight D. Eisenhower asked Congress to include the words “under God,” amid the rise of communism.
Cook reportedly told no one of his plan to skip the Pledge of Allegiance.
Some board members were receptive to Cook’s new idea.
“It feels respectful and it feels thoughtful,” said school board member Rachel Norton.
“Maya Angelou is an alumnus of (San Francisco’s) Washington High School, so what better way to start a new tradition.”
Cook said he will read an inspirational quote from influential Americans before each meeting.
“There are a lot of ways to express gratitude and appreciation for the county and its citizens,” he said.
“This is how I plan to do that.”
Cook played down any parallels to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who drew controversy for refusing to stand for the national anthem before NFL games in the 2016 season.
“I’m no Colin Kaepernick. I’m Stevon Cook.”