October 1 2013
Vicki E. Alger
Forget any pledges of allegiance to the flag and our republic. Students in one Wisconsin middle school were treated to a star-studded video created by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo production company to commemorate Peace One Day—a celebration of “global unity” and “intercultural cooperation.”
Too often the important task of promoting peace degenerates into narrow partisanship—and sadly this effort is no exception. Worse, the Peace One video shown to middle schoolers undermines the core principles of free citizenship.
The four-minute “I Pledge” video is intended to promote volunteerism among students, but it takes a hard left-turn when several celebrities pledge to be “of service to Barack Obama” and “a servant to our president.”
Parents attending the student assembly where the video was shown objected to its propagandizing elements that were more reminiscent of a campaign ad than a public service announcement.
The Hudson School District Superintendent responded by shelving the video and apologizing. Husdon Middle School Principal Dan Koch apologized to students directly, saying, “The video conveyed a message that the people serve the presidency, when in fact our elected officials serve the people.”
It is disturbing that the famous people in the video who pledged their servitude have each overcome personal hardships to achieve successful careers through their own hard work and sacrifices—not the beneficence of any elected official.
Thankfully, parental outcry will help these young students appreciate our rights and responsibilities as American citizens, not subjects.