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Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish at California Schools Sparks Controversy

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A child says the Pledge of Allegiance after placing an American flag on a tree during the second round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club, Friday, July 3, 2009, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Elementary students in a California school district recite the Pledge of Allegiance in both English and Spanish, a move that is making some teachers unhappy, KGET.com reports.

Since 2002, all students in the Lamont School District’s three elementary schools have recited the Pledge in English and Spanish. It is a tradition for a city that is 97 percent Hispanic, according to the station.

"I think you offer a great way for students to feel included, and it's the Pledge of Allegiance, no greater honor than to be able to say the Pledge of Allegiance in a second language," said Fred Molina, principal of Alicante School.

Since 2002, 35 percent of students have been part of a bilingual program where instruction is 50 percent in English and 50 percent in Spanish. But the Pledge is recited by all students, including those who only speak English.

Still, not everyone is on board with the bilingual recitation.

"One of the issues with it being in Spanish is that not everyone got a chance to voice their opinion doing it that way. Every time it was brought up for discussion, it was set aside and we never got a chance to vote for it or even discuss it any further," said teacher Barry Champagne.

Assistant Superintendent Ricardo Robles told KGET-TV he was unaware of the concerns, saying the district plans to meet with teachers before deciding whether to make any changes.

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