On Tuesday, a Chukker Creek Elementary School mom was angry after finding a copy of the Pledge of Allegiance sent home from the school without the words “under God” included.
Jessica Andrews' fourth-grade daughter had brought home some general information from her teacher on Monday, the first day of school – including the words to the Pledge and the national anthem to help the children familiarize themselves with them.
Andrews arrived at the school on Wednesday to apologize to Principal Amy Gregory – both for her own actions and for a subsequent Fox News story on the situation, which she herself had not set in motion. The article, written by Todd Starnes, appeared online Tuesday and went viral.
“I want to do anything to make this right,” Andrews said. “This had nothing to with the school. Unfortunately, things got out of whack.”
The teacher had accidentally left out the words “under God” when she gave the children the packet of information to take home, Gregory said. By Tuesday morning, some of her students mentioned the error.
Soon, “She was already sending out an email to parents and apologizing to them,” Gregory said. The teacher is devastated about the mistake, the principal said.
On Monday night, a distressed Andrews had posted on Facebook a photo of the Pledge words her daughter had received. She said on Wednesday that only a few of her friends had access to the post.
But one of them had called Fox News, and on Tuesday, Starnes called Andrews. She said then that “It seems like the government is doing everything they can to take God out of everything.”
She readily acknowledges now that no such law exists. Every school in the state includes the words “under God” with the Pledge, as do those at Chukker Creek, Gregory said. Students recite the Pledge in full every morning, the principal said.
Andrews said her family moved to the Southside of Aiken, so her daughter could attend Chukker Creek.
“Some of my daughter's friends had talked about this teacher, and this is the one she wanted,” Andrews said. “I'm still happy to have that teacher for her.”
Gregory has been concerned for the teacher, and now, “I really appreciate Mrs. Andrews coming in today and doing something to make things right for everybody. We're a big family and have rallied around the teacher.”
Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard's education reporter.