The new president of the San Francisco school board purposefully skipped the traditional recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of his first meeting, choosing instead to read a quote from poet Maya Angelou.
Stevon Cook had pondered the idea of replacing the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance after his election to lead the school board. Cook replaced the customary pledge with a quote from Angelou: “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”
“There are a lot of ways to express gratitude and appreciation for the country and its citizens,” Cook said, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. “This is how I plan to do that.”
District spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said that while schools are required to perform a daily patriotic exercise, public school district meetings are not.
“Although there is a requirement that schools conduct a pledge or similar activity, there is no such requirement for school boards,” Blythe said.