Concord-Carlisle High Principal Peter Badlament is
apologizing for what happened at his school on the 12th anniversary of the day
that changed the world.
After issuing multiple statements addressing the issue, the administrator plans to offer an official public apology and listen to public comments on Tuesday, Sept. 17, beginning at 7 p.m. That’ll go down at the Concord-Carlisle High School auditorium, according to the latest statement, issued Sept. 14 on the district’s website.
Depending on who you ask, it was either a gross oversight or a series of unfortunate events that have compelled Badalament to address the public over what happened at his school on Sept. 11, 2013.
At issue is the handling of the 12th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 at CCHS.
In a juxtaposition that’s boggled many minds over the past week, CCHS began the school day by reading the poem "My Grandmother Washes Her Feet in the Sink of the Bathroom at Sears" and omitting the Pledge of Allegiance.
It’s a confluence of events that has had the district under fire from many angles over the past week.
According to Badalament, the poem was intended to promote cross-cultural understanding, and the daily Pledge was not said because the student who would have read it missed school that morning—the first Wednesday of the school year—because of an internship.
“It is inexcusable that the Pledge of Allegiance was not recited,” said Badalament in his latest statement. “While the circumstances regarding its omission would provide context for how a mistake like this could occur, there is no acceptable reason for the oversight on this solemn anniversary. I will ensure that it will never happen again on any day at CCHS.”
Regarding the poem, in which the narrator observes her grandmother washing her feet in a department store sink in accordance with religious ritual even as onlookers scoff at the scene, Badalament says it was “poor judgment” to allow it to have been read on that day.
“As a teacher and principal for 25 years, my guiding principle has always been to make decisions based on what is in the best interest of the children,” Badalament said in the statement. “My intention in planning that day's commemoration was to honor those who suffered or died, pay tribute to our country and to offer hope for our students and global citizens to live together in peace. Despite my intentions, the mistakes that led to the Pledge not being recited and the choice of the poem meant that I did not accomplish my goal. In fact, quite the opposite has occurred and for that, I am very sorry.”
Badalament, in the statement, acknowledged violating the trust of his school community, and said he will work hard toward regaining that trust. And that starts from 7 to 8:30 p.m. this Tuesday night, at CCHS.