Texas students taught to recite Mexican pledge of allegiance

posted at 11:25 am on October 17, 2011 by Tina Korbe

In the name of educating students about a foreign culture, a teacher in McAllen, Tex., required students in her intermediate Spanish class to memorize and individually recite the Mexican national anthem and pledge of allegiance — but one student objected, catching the attention of the school district and The Blaze, which reported the story this morning.

Fifteen-year-old Brenda Brinsdon refused to complete the assignment and, instead, complained to the teacher, principal and, eventually, with the help of her father, William, the school district superintendent. The response of the teacher? Reyna Santos explained that she grew up in Mexico and loved the country. The response of the principal? Yvette Cavazo told Brinsdon it was part of the curriculum and she should participate. The response of the school district superintendent? School district spokesman Mark May told The Blaze the assignment was no different than memorizing a poem or a passage of Shakespeare.

Brinsdon was particularly bothered by the timing of the assignment, which came last month during “Freedom Week,” the week after the Tenth Anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In fact, the assignment came on Constitution Day itself — the same day as Mexico’s Independence Day.

Said Brinsdon’s father: “Our kids don’t even know the [American] national anthem and here we are … teaching them to memorize and perform the national anthem for Mexico. I just think it’s so backwards.”

He also objected to May’s characterization of the assignment as just another memorization exercise, saying that that cheapens the notion of a pledge. “You‘re taking their allegiance and their oath from Mexico and cheapening it just as a grade or words [that] don’t mean anything,” he said.

To the school district’s credit, Brinsdon wasn’t forced to participate: She was given an alternate assignment — an essay on the history of the Mexican revolution.

Here’s a thought: Why not just study the Mexican pledge of allegiance? Read it in a textbook, diagram its sentences, dissect its meaning. Certainly it makes sense to study the culture of other countries. But leave the out-loud recitation of any kind of loyalty oath for the U.S. pledge of allegiance (which, interestingly enough, is increasingly less recited in U.S. schools). You can bet plenty of students in non-English-speaking competitive countries (a) learn English, (b) study the political, economic and cultural systems of the United States and (c) never recite the U.S. pledge of allegiance in school.

If the point is to memorize and recite a passage in Spanish (it was a Spanish class, after all), recite a translation of the U.S. pledge. That’s what we did in my Spanish 3 class in high school and it stuck with me …

Juro fidelidad a la bandera de los Estados Unidos de America y a la república que simboliza, una nación bajo Dios, indivisible con libertad y justicia para todos.

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Examiner article linked from a comment at the Blaze article:

According to a recent audit by the Texas Secretary of State’s office, 600,000 registered voters in across the state do not have a valid driver’s license or state issued ID. This should not be surprising since Texas does not require presentation of identification when registering to vote.

Pretty pathetic — discouraging to think that 600,000 CITIZEN’s votes may be neutered.

Would Texas rather see 600,000 illegals vote than require a simple ID check?

fred5678 on October 17, 2011 at 8:45 PM

Would Texas rather see 600,000 illegals vote than require a simple ID check?

fred5678 on October 17, 2011 at 8:45 PM

Unless things have changed since we lived there, Texas requires ID to vote.

AZfederalist on October 17, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Umm, scratch that, they just passed that law this year. Must have conflated that with AZ where we do have to show ID and that law went into effect shortly after we moved there.

AZfederalist on October 17, 2011 at 9:58 PM

If it were in any class other than a Spanish class, I would have a problem with that. Hopefully, the teacher leads the class every morning in saying our Pledge of Allegiance.

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 17, 2011 at 11:55 PM

If they conclude they “own” North America, and there’s no place for “the Europeans,” why the heck are they all so insistent on speaking and demanding others speak a European language, Spanish?

They make no sense, in any language.

Lourdes on October 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Even worse, the La Raza types seem to think they have a “right” to that land because it was once part of Mexico — but before it was part of Mexico, that land belonged to the Navaho, Apache, etc. Since the Mexicans invading across the border are not descended from those tribes, they have no more right to that land than the gringos they so despise.

CJ on October 18, 2011 at 12:47 AM

In high school French class, we learned to sing La Marseillaise. Should I have been incensed about that?

SukieTawdry on October 18, 2011 at 3:13 AM

The teacher is wrong, but this shouldn’t be a big news story.

V-rod on October 18, 2011 at 4:19 AM

With so little emphasis placed on U.S. I don’t think the Mexican pledge should be taught at all.

zoyclem on October 18, 2011 at 7:56 AM

I took three courses of high school Spanish and two years worth of French in college. Not once did I have to memorize a pledge from either respective country. We may have looked at it or discussed it, but we didn’t have to know it. I find the timing a little suspicious.

RDE2010 on October 18, 2011 at 7:57 AM

So when do the kids start repeating “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us!”?

GarandFan on October 18, 2011 at 2:25 PM