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PINE BUSH, N.Y. — A high school in New York is apologizing after an effort to celebrate national Foreign Language Week turned into a controversy that has divided the school.

The regularly scheduled announcements at Pine Bush High School included the Arabic reading of the Pledge of Allegiance. The Times Herald-Record reported there were catcalls and denunciations in classrooms by students who felt the reading was inappropriate.

Superintendent Joan Carbone said the reading was “something that was supposed to be good but turned out not to be.”

Principal Aaron Hopmayer apologized to students who took offense during a building-wide announcement.


Carbone said there were complaints from residents who lost family members in Afghanistan and from Jewish parents.

Students went on Twitter over the controversy.

“People who don’t like PB should take a vacation. I hear the Middle East is nice this time a year?” one posted.

Another wrote: “The pledge should always be said in English. They could’ve just said ‘Good Morning’ in a different language each day.”