Jessica Andrews could not believe her eyes.
“It was like an ‘Oh my gosh’ type of feeling,” the mother of six from Aiken, South Carolina told me.
The item that caused her angst came from her daughter’s school. It was a copy of the Pledge of Allegiance. But the school’s version of the pledge was just a few words short – two to be exact.
“It didn’t have ‘under God’,” she said.
Jessica’s daughter is a fourth grader at Chukker Creek Elementary School. She said Aiken is a very religious community and they are a religious family. So you can imagine her surprise when she realized the school’s version of the pledge did not include a shout-out to the Almighty.
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“It’s outrageous, to be honest,” she told me. “It seems like the government is doing everything they can to take God out of everything.”
Jessica pointed out that our forefathers believed in God – so why can’t the youngsters acknowledge we are a nation under God?
“We are so quick to change our religion to accommodate everyone else,” she said. “It seems like Christianity is getting taken out of everything.”
So how did the Almighty end up getting cut from the pledge?
I alerted the school early Tuesday morning – and by midday Principal Amy Gregory determined Jessica had a legitimate beef.
In this particular case, the omission was not the nefarious work of a godless educator. The principal said it was an honest-to-goodness mistake.
“This was a single mistake by a very embarrassed and apologetic teacher,” the principal told me in written correspondence.
“In order to assist her new students with our morning announcements, a teacher made copies of the pledge and national anthem for her class,” she told me. “She cut and pasted these from a website and in doing so, this line was omitted.”
Ah yes – the old “cut and paste” will get you every time.
“The teacher failed to proof the paper,” the principal wrote.
As we all know – the most important part of the editorial process is the proof-reading. That’s why God made copy editors. Before I go off chasing another squirrel, let’s get back to the issue at hand – the pledge.
The principal said as soon as the teacher learned her mistake, she sent a corrected version to parents – along with an apology.
“I do apologize,” the teacher wrote. “Please forgive me. I respect our country and what it was founded on.”
Principal Gregory said the boys and girls at Chukker Creek recite the pledge every day. And in case you’re wondering, she said the words ‘under God’ are included.
Jessica told me she used the incident as a life lesson for her little girl.
“I told her the government and a lot of people don’t like God,” she said. “Some people are offended by Christianity. I try to be as real with my kids about their faith as I can be. I don’t want to sugarcoat everything.”
We need more moms like Jessica Andrews. Thanks to her eagle eye she was able to facilitate change at Chukker Creek Elementary School.
We also need more educators like Principal Gregory. She acknowledged the mistake, took swift action and righted a glaring wrong.
Gold stars for everyone!
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is "God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values." Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.