Concord-Carlisle High School principal apologizes for reading Muslim poem on 9/11

american flag classroom
Concord-Carlisle High School principal Peter Badalament came under fire for reading a Muslim poem instead of the Pledge of Allegiance on the anniversary of 9/11.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

The principal of Concord-Carlisle High School is under fire for choosing to read a Muslim poem on the anniversary of 9/11 rather than the Pledge of Allegiance.

Principal Peter Badalament released a statement Thursday explaining his decision, which stated that the idea was to celebrate multiculturalism.

“We had the well-being of students at the forefront of our thinking when we chose to acknowledge 9/11 by reading a poem that focused on cross-cultural understanding rather than unsettling words and images associated with the event,” Badalament said in his statement, WCVB reported. 

The poem, “My Grandmother Washes her Feet in the Sink of the Bathroom at Sears,” written by Mohja Kahf, is not a Muslim prayer as many previously stated. It is actually the story of Kahf’s grandmother, who moved to American from Syria and had to wash her feet in the Sears bathroom to avoid missing Muslim prayer time.

According to Badalament, the Pledge of Allegiance, which is normally read every day over the intercom, was not read on Tuesday, the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, because the student who reads it was at a previously scheduled internship. He acknowledged that the school should have known about this schedule change and regrets the mistake.

Badalament received several calls about the poem, including several parents wondering why the pledge was not read aloud.

“We remain committed to integrating an inclusive and positive culture for all members of the school community,” Badalament said, the article continued.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


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