Published November 04, 2010
Tea Party Patriots display an American flag on the lawn of the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, during an election day demonsration. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Melissa Taggart says she was delighted that her son was learning a foreign language in the eighth grade -- until she learned he was expected to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish.
And that he'd receive a zero if he didn't.
Taggart, of Edmond, Okla., said the Pledge should be recited in English -- and English only.
“English is our language…and I just feel it’s wrong that he would have to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America in Spanish. It’s just wrong,” a frustrated Taggart told KFOR.
She said she couldn't begin to understand why her son's teacher would choose the Pledge for her class. And she was upset that her son was told he would receive a zero if he did not complete the assignment.
"There are poems, lyrics, and great writes that she could have chosen that emphasize the Spanish culture and to teach our children," Taggart said. "Why the Pledge of Allegiance?"
She said she and her husband were appalled by the assignment and that they “don't believe in it, and I do not want my child doing it."
"I just feel that it's wrong," she told KFOR, "that he'll have to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America in Spanish. That's not how it should be taught. That has nothing to do with the Spanish language."
But Brenda Lyons, associate superintendent and public information officer for the Edmond School District, defended the class assignment, saying the school's language curriculum calls for students to translate and recite something that they are familiar with.
“The Pledge assignment has been in place for years.” Lyons told FoxNews.com. “It is written in the curriculum for Spanish that students need to learn something they are familiar with, like short phrases in the foreign language.”
She said students and parents were made aware of the assignment at the beginning of the school year, and added: “If a parent has an issue with an assignment and calls in advance of that assignment being given, then the student can be given an alternative assignment.”
Lyons said the Taggarts did not call the school to complain prior to the assignment, “so her son was given a zero for a test grade because he failed to complete the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish.”
But after hearing Taggart's complaint, the school is bending a bit in this case. The boy's teacher, after giving him a zero, is now allowing him to complete another assignment to replace the Pledge.
FoxNews.com's Meghan Baker contributed to this report.