A school principal has apologized for showing a video at an assembly that a politically conservative group leader is calling "radical, leftist propaganda."Children at Eagle Bay Elementary School in Farmington were shown a short video called "I pledge" on Aug. 28. The video opens with an image of President Barack Obama and part of a speech in which he says, "Let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other." The video then features celebrities making pledges about how they will help the president and the world -- and that's where some say the problem lies.
Many pledges, such as supporting local food banks, smiling more, and caring for the elderly are noncontroversial. But other pledges, such as "to never give anyone the finger when I'm driving again," "to sell my obnoxious car and buy a hybrid" and to advance stem cell research cross the line, some say.
"Showing the video in a public school is completely inappropriate," said Jennifer Cieslewicz, whose daughter is a first-grader at the school. "I don't believe a video such as this that promotes certain values should be shown to elementary students, especially without parents being aware. "
Chris Williams, Davis School District spokesman, said school principal Ofelia Wade and school PTA leaders decided to show the video as part of an assembly about the school's theme for the year, service. He said the PTA board chose the video and Wade did not see it before it was shown in the assembly.
"It got to a point where she turned to her assistant and said, 'Oops, I wish I would have seen this before. I don't think I would have shown it,' " Williams said. He said Wade could see how some adults might find the video political.
"She acknowledges she was wrong and apologizes for it and says she's sorry," Williams said. Attempts to reach school PTA leaders Tuesday evening were unsuccessful.
Gayle Ruzicka, president of conservative Utah Eagle Forum, said the video was blatantly political. She said other offensive pledges included, "I pledge to be of service to Barack Obama," "I pledge allegiance to the funk, to the united funk of funkadelica," and pledges to not use plastic grocery bags and not flush the toilet after urinating. (continues here)