An Arizona mother spoke out against her son’s 4th-grade teacher having students recite an altered version of the Declaration of Independence in class, reported Arizona ABC-affiliate KNXV Wednesday.
The Salk Elementary School teacher replaced the word “men” with “humans” whenever it appeared in the Declaration. The mother, Elizabeth Vaillancourt, posted about the teacher’s actions on her Facebook account, including a photo of the altered Declaration of Independence. In one of the comments, she also provided the number of the superintendent Mr. McCord and encouraged people to contact him and complain.
“Zev’s teacher has this hanging in the classroom can anyone guess what’s wrong with this picture?”
When Vaillancourt aired her grievances with the school, administrators told her she hurt the teacher’s feelings by posting about the incident on social media. The school removed Vaillancourt’s son from the teacher’s class and the sign was taken down.
After Vaillancourt posted on Facebook, she was contacted by a member of the ABC15 team for an interview about the situation. She shared the photo of the altered Declaration again Wednesday before her interview to provide an update.
“What she [the teacher] is doing is indoctrination you may be alright with her doing this but it is against board and school policy so therefore she was in the wrong,” Vaillancourt wrote.
“Each and every morning after the Pledge of Allegiance is said, the class recited this altered version of our Declaration of Independence. The teacher also felt it was ‘A teachable moment’ when she shared with the class that she attended a protest of our President Donald J. Trump. I beg of you all for future generations to remain free, please beware of what is actually occurring in our schools.”
A spokeswoman for Mesa Public Schools said the policies for school ceremonies included reciting the Declaration of Independence.
“It should be recited as written, and not modified in any way. School administration, when learning of the alteration to the text, provided feedback and guidance to the teacher to restore the document to its original format,” she said.
“There is not a specific reference in policy to the discussion of political beliefs by a teacher in a classroom, however in practice the district does not allow teachers to share their political views with students. When the teacher used a personal example of how individuals can have differing political views but still be friends, the principal reminded the teacher that personal examples are not appropriate in the classroom setting.”