SF School board member responds to threats over Pledge of Allegiance
Since its meeting last week, the Sioux Falls School Board has come under fire for a decision it never made.
The board took a suggestion from a local veteran to require elementary and middle school students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance - and it didn't stop there. The board voted unanimously to expand the policy to high school assemblies. At assemblies, either the Pledge will be recited, there will be a presentation of the colors, or another show of patriotism.
However, one Sioux Falls television station reported that the board chose to drop the pledge at high schools.
"It wasn't dropped. That wasn't true at all. And that is what people were reacting to was the headline - not what we actually did. And then Fox picked that story up - and again - it was the headline they used, not the actual facts of what we did at the School Board meeting," said three-term Sioux Falls School Board member Kent Alberty.
"The person that they gave the byline to wasn't at the School Board meeting, didn't interview any members of the School Board, didn't interview the person who spoke to the School Board, but then they ran this story and didn't have in the story the fact that we actually expanded the policy," said Alberty.
He says as a result, he and his colleagues have received a barrage of e-mails, phone calls, and even death threats. Threats that have been reported to the Sioux Falls Police Department.
"The one that I guess got my attention the most was that this person feels that all five of us should be lined up and shot," said Alberty.
Alberty says most of the misinformed, negative feedback has come from out of state, but he says it still hurts to be called unpatriotic.
When KSFY News asked if he wants an apology from Fox or the local TV station in question, Alberty had this to say: "When something is misreported, misrepresented, an incendiary headline that really doesn't base anything on facts of the story, I would think that would be appropriate. But I'm certainly not expecting it anytime"
The Sioux Falls School District has removed the board members' personal information from its web site for now, to discourage any more misdirected feedback.