FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) – Scathing words from country group Big and Rich were delivered Thursday night, directed at members of the Fargo school board in light of Monday’s vote to stop taking the oath of allegiance before council meetings.
Before launching, the band asked the audience to join them in reciting the West Fargo Lights Pledge of Allegiance. Videos from the event went viral online as they garnered thousands of views and shares.
“Take (leadership) away from them! They don’t belong in this town,” the band said after the audience finished the pledge.
Of the Fargo School Board’s nine members, only two voted to continue reciting the pledge before every board meeting, something the board has been doing since early April.
“It was a very easy ‘no’ on my part from the start. I knew straight away it would be controversial,” Robin Nelson said.
It’s this controversy that worries Nelson, as she says she expects serious repercussions both locally and statewide for public school funding.
“I have already heard from several lawmakers who have deep concerns about this and I think we can predict some fallout this legislative session because of this,” she said.
On top of that, Nelson says the decision takes away important work the board still needs to do.
“We should be focusing on our great students and teachers and on education, but it’s going to hurt that and throw more negative publicity on the Fargo School District, and frankly, we don’t need that,” said Nelson.
At the end of the day, Nelson says she respects the outcome and stresses that she just wants to move on and get to work.
Board member Seth Holden brought the motion to the governance committee in July. At Monday’s meeting, he said the pledge did not align with the district’s values of diversity, equity and inclusion.
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